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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Power breakfast

Oh yes, I am a Starbucks junkie.

But I have to admit, I have become much better... I used to go there about 4 times weekly.

Now I'm down to just every once in a while, not even weekly.

This morning's treat:

Skinny Vanilla Latte and Perfect Oatmeal...


Caterpillar Time

We love bedtime storytime with our little man... it's so much fun reading through all kinds of books with him. And recently he has been picking his little stack of books, puts them all in a stack on top of each other, and then we go from top to bottom. We limit to 5 books, it used to be 3, but recently he usually wants to be the one reading them to us, and sometimes he goes through them rather quickly :)

I love seeing the excitement in his eyes...

... and listen to him laugh and giggle at his favorite parts of the books...

... then watch as he is intently listening, all quiet...

... until he closes the book, says "End", and puts them on the "finished" pile!

Good night!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Muffin episode #4 - Peach Polenta

Since we just hung out at home all day today I did have another dose of energy after Julian went to bed.

Time for muffins again!!! Seriously, I have all these ingredients in the fridge waiting to be turned into yummy muffins, cupcakes, etc.! Can't let them go to waste!

I was torn between Peach Crumbcake muffins and Peach Polenta, but in the end the Peach Polenta won. I still had yellow cornmeal from some Christmas cookies so why  not?

Oooh these turned out scrumptious!!! They are fresh and summery from the fresh peaches and lemon zest and sweet and nutty from the cornmeal. As they were baking I said to myself "Uugh, I forgot to add almonds on top, I really wanted that!" I just love slivered almonds toasted with sprinkle of sugar. But they still came out just beautiful!

So these are coming to work with me tomorrow, yep had to try one to make sure I was serving something edible right? So another 5 Star Review for this cook book!

I used regular yellow cornmeal instead of quick cooking polenta.

I love peaches anytime... and they add so much freshness and juicyness to these muffins! The recipe stated you can used thawed frozen peaches as well, but I had these in the fridge.

Filled in my 12 muffin cups and sprinkled some sugar on top. The recipe didn't call for almonds on top, but like I said... I just love almonds!

I always love watching them rise initially.

It's always so hard resiting to take that first bite... I love warm muffins fresh out of the oven!

Ok, now I'm trying... delicious!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Almost Friday!

Took my supervisors out to lunch at Acropolis today as one of them got a promo starting next week. I love this place! Afterwards we stopped at a cute Yogurt place, one of the sups treated the group, yum!

Dinner for Julian tonight was Pad Woon Sen and Bamee Goong!! He loved it! Followed by caramel ice cream and a hot dog lol I did offer him healthy baby carrots but he didn't take one bite. At least he had broccoli for lunch together with a whole peanut butter jelly sandwich and two bowls of cereal as an afternoon snack. And a whole bottle of Pediasure before bed.

After Julian went to bed I made myself a pizza as we still had dough in the fridge from Publix. Plain with salami and red onions and omg sooo delicious!! I saved half for lunch tomorrow! Must do this more often! Publix had a BOGO deal, but really I just need to practice and make my own pizza dough. Flour, water and yeast... can't be that hard right?

Muffin episode #3 - Pear Cranberry Oat with Almond Topping

I've been so tired! I barely got any sleep Sunday night since Julian was up coughing, but I did make it to work!

Tuesday I had to stay home with Julian, poor baby coughed again all night Monday and then threw up all over himself, the bed and of course me. As I carried him into the kitchen to get fresh water for him, we ran across daddy, and he raised his hand, waved and said "Daddy... hi!"

Since he was wide awake now I let him watch a little TV while we threw all the sheets and clothes in the washer and made the bed. I typically never let him watch TV in the middle of the night, but oh well, those 30 min didn't hurt him. He was still couhing a lot the rest of the night, so I called into work on yesterday to stay home with him. Didn't get up until after 9am, which is really late for him. So I made pancakes from scratch... there is something great about making pancakes from scratch for your child on a lazy morning :)

Milk, eggs, flour, a little bit of salt and sugar... nothing compared to the looong list of ingredients on frozen pancakes right? Not that I hate frozen pancakes at all, I love them! So easy and convenient, but when there is time it's great to make them yourself.

Luckily Julian slept very well Tuesday night, no coughing at all, so today he was back at the babysitter's, and I was back at work. I wanted to let him sleep in a littie since our schedule was so off yesterday so hubby took him in, and also picked him up.

We met at another model home with our realtor to look at some additional models in two different subdivisions. Wow, prices can vary up to $50k just depending on where you build your house! Same model!

If you know my hubby and I... we don't care to live in the fanciest new development. We like our money, so why pay $50k more if we can have the same house in a smaller, less popular community? No outrageous CDD or HOA fees. We can easily live with that!

We really  loved the models we saw today! More so than the other models we saw before. They are a bit smaller (still huge) but we really don't need 7 bedrooms. Less cleaning to do :) Now we are really torn between the two models we saw today... we'll have to do some thinking and comparing.

Julian really enjoyed viewing the models with us, he ran around, checked out all the closets, the beds, and served us water from the water cooler. You can tell our realtor isn't a kid person! Wouldn't you use that to your advantage as a seasoned sales person?

Dinner was Pizza! Wanted to eat at Little Harbor but it got late and we got a little lost. So hubby called the pizza place, ordered pizza and when we arrived it was ready within 5 min and we sat down to eat. Julian ate a piece of hawaiian by himself, and then we rushed home.

After I put him to bed, I thought I should try a sweet muffin this time.

Most are hesitant when they see a savory muffin... but the sweet onces usually go quickly!

Baking can be so relaxing after a long busy day of work and taking care of a toddler!

Tonight's muffin - Pear Cranberry Oatmeal with an Almond Topping.

Yummy, these turned out fabulous!!!!!!!!!!! I love the nuttiness from the oatmeal, the freshness of the pear and dried cranberries, and the almonds on top! Definitely another great recipe from this book!

Recipe for Pear Cranberry Oat Muffins

Makes 12 muffins
Preheat oven to 375 F

What you need:
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup sliced almonds

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cups dried cranberries
1 firm ripe pear, finely chopped

How to make them:
1. Topping: in a small bowl, combine sugar, and nugmeg. Stir in almonds and set aside.
2. Muffins: in a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs, milk and oil until well blended.
4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Gently fold in cranberries and pear.
5. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with topping.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 21 - 24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Muffin episode #2 - Brie Apple Hazelnut

Experiment number 2!

After the leek gorgonzola muffins turned out so beautiful, I wanted to try another recipe, a savory one again.

Because honestly my fridge is now stacked with all kinds of ingredients to bake all kinds of muffins and I have to use some of them up before they go bad.

I can obsess like this :) When I get into something, it turns into a new big hobby for me and I go crazy.

Until that need is satisfied. Which it isn't quite yet :D

That's why I don't want to be housepoor. I wouldn't be able to afford any hobbies!

The actual recipe actually calls for Camembert... but I had a huge chunk of Brie from Costco in my fridge, so I didn't want to buy yet another ingredient.

Again it was very easy to make, prep time is really minimal as you throw things together and only stir briefly.

Here is the end product:

Beautiful texture, beautiful crust, buttery, moist and soft. But I have to admit I liked the leek gorgonzola much better. But here is a mistake I made - instead of using a tart apple like a granny smith, I used a sweet red delicious (and hubby picked a pretty ripe one instead of a crunchy new one). I didn't really taste the apple at all, I think the tartness of the granny smith would have made this muffin much more exciting. So I think I will have to make this one again of these days. Maybe the camembert will add more flavor as well, even though the Brie was wonderful in here.

A few weeks ago Julian has been observing moods very keenly... so he always knows and points out when someone cries or is sad... or if someone smiles and is happy.

So earlier, before naptime, we lay in bed, he was cuddled up to me when he suddenly smiled his beautiful little sneaky smile, climbed on my chest and took my face into both his hands to ask me "Mom, happy??"

Of course I just smiled back and told him yes, that I was very  happy.

He smiles even wider, goes "awwww", then leans back, pats himself on his chest and said "Me too happy" and continued to watch TV.

These are the moments we live for as moms and parents... he just melted my heart!

Recipe for Brie Apple Hazelnut Muffins

Makes 12 muffins
Preheat oven to 375 F

What you need:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
2 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp liquid honey
1 small tart-sweet apple, peeled and shredded
(I used a Fuji apple, not tart enough, it was hard to taste in the end product)
4 oz Brie cheese, diced
(original recipe called for Camenbert cheese, but I had Brie in the fridge)
1/2 chopped hazelnuts, toasted
(unfortunately the Tampa area doesn't have any hazelnuts in the regular grocery store, I had to go to a wholefoods market to get hazelnuts, also called filberts in the US)

How to make them:
1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and pepper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, butter and honey until well blended. stir in
3. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Gently fold in cheese and hazelnuts.
4. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 22 - 26 minutes or until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes then transfer to the rack.
Serve warm or let cool completely.

I think they tasted great warm :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Le Macaron

Macarons are delicious little things... so beautiful to look at, and always such a surprise when you bite into something new. So today I got some beautiful macarons from a little french store called "Le Macaron" in Sarasota... they are truely little pieces of heaven! One of these days I will have to try and make them... they are surely too expensive to continue buying all the time!

Too bad this place is so far from home :(

Muffin episode 1 - Leek & Gorgonzola

I recently ordered a new muffin recipe book from Amazon, as it had perfect reviews and I couldn't wait to try some. This book appealed to me since it didn't just have the same old muffin recipes... it actually has 750 of them, including a ton of savory muffins and a large variety of others, some gluten free, some whole wheat, some with rice flour, etc. At first I wasn't too excited about the book because it doesn't have many pictures at all... and I usually prefer my cook books with lots of pictures. But all the good reviews made me want to try at least some of the recipes...

I had some Gorgonzola Cheese at home, and bought Leeks with Julian after I picked him up. So once he was in bed (tonight I just wanted to try something by myself... without my little helper), I whipped out my new cook book, and tried out the Leek & Gorgonzola Muffins.

OMG they came out amazing!!!!! And they were so easy and quick to make. I think that's one thing I love about muffins... the moist and dense texture and the minimal stirring, etc. Definitely recommend these!

Here is the recipe

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Good bye Cleveland!

After an all day Six Sigma Training class, which was actually really good, I ended up curled up in my hotel room bed again, reading my Kindle, taking a hot bath with my "Lush" bath salts, and ordering Room Service. Our professor was such a breath of fresh air... so young but so smart and accomplished. She looked like in her mid 30's only, has her PhD in Organic Chemistry but is working in Quality Consulting.

After the training class we all drove to Mally's, a local Ohio chocolate store, and the line was crazy as everyone was there buying chocolates and chocolate covered strawberries for their sweethearts. I bought chocolate covered caramels for my hubby, and a little Squirrel holding a heart and some chocolate for my baby :) One of my coworkers bought chocolate covered strawberries for all of us, and two boxes of chocolate covered bacon for her husband!

Dinner consisted of( I didn't take a picture like I usually do) - linguine in pesto, prince edward mussels in white wine broth, chicken cordon bleu soup and a side salad. Yes, I was completely stuffed afterwards.

Breakfast was quick and topped by a chocolate covered strawberry from my sweet coworker, then we headed to the airport. I actually managed to download another movie on iTunes last night, even though I was seriously doubting that I woudl be successful after I checked a few times and it told me I had 1600 hours left until the download was complete!! I just left the iPad to download overnight hoping the connection speed would improve at one point. I was lucky! So I was able to watch "Definitely, Maybe" on the flight home... what a cute movie!!!! So adorable, a romantic movie right up my alley!

So this is me leaving the hotel in the morning - you can't see but it was snowing!

And this is what greeted me in sunny Florida... 78 F!!

Once at home I took off with my hubby to look at new homes again. Really just the ones I looked at Friday since we wanted to be able to look at them together, so much easier to determine what we like and what we don't like. The good news: we like and dislike the same things! No bad news :)

Then we picked up Julian together... what a treat for him! We wanted to stop by Carraba's to see if they would have any openings for dinner, but at just a few minutes after 5pm they already had a line out the door, so we just stopped by Village Inn and had our Valentine's Day family dinner there :) As long as we are all together, we don't care where we eat!

Oh, this is what waited for me at home today :)

Including two cards from hubby and baby... my hubby knows how much I love cards!

 Happy Valentine's Day everyone... how did you celebrate?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hello Cleveland!

After such a relaxing and fun Saturday with my baby I had to leave him early today to travel to Cleveland... on a Sunday! Uuugh, I hate having to give up my weekend for travel! But at least Julian is just home with Daddy, so he's in good hands. It was still hard to leave him.

It was surprisingly cold this morning in Tampa... 39 F! I was glad I wore a long sleeve sweater, long pants and my boots since it was supposed to only be 25 F in Cleveland with some snow today.

First I stopped at Panera to get a nice toasted whole wheat bagel with cream cheese and a hot Chai tea Latte. I got to the airport way too early, but that was okay, I'd rather be early and sit down and read or shop than be late and worry about not making it. I got myself ready last night, downloaded a movie on iTunes to watch on the flight, and downloaded a bunch of magazines, both German and US magazines, and a few new books on the Kindle. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get to read all of my books on the Kindle??? There are just too many cheap and free books!! And I keep downloading them! I have close to 300 books on the Kindle now, many of them free or costing less then $2.99.

The direct flight was without any turbolence, I only napped during takeoff and landing and avoided talking to the annoying guy next to me, who tried to talk to me even as I started watching my movie on my iPad and already had my earphones in... and he saw that I had to take them out to hear him! The movie was "Double" with Richard Gere and Topher Grace... pretty good! And I was able to finish it on the flight!

I was excited to use my new suitcase with 4 wheels :D so now I was able to just roll it upright instead of having to drag it behind me on two wheels. Very cool and convenient! And I managed not to have to check my bag, which was hard since I only took miniature version of everything... lotion, facial cleaner, etc. I was brave enough to trust that the Hilton Garden Inn would have reasonable Shampoo and Conditioner for me!

Apparently it had been snowing since Friday so when we got there, everything was white... beautiful! And it was pretty cold at 25 F!! I got into the rental car with my two coworkers who flew up with me... and yes, I had to throw a snowball at one of them, hehehe.

Usually I love going out to dinner with my friends and coworkers when I travel for my job. Time to explore something new, new hip restaurants, trendy new food, a little gem of the city, then have a cocktail or two, a glass of wine after dinner, enjoy the company and have a great, great time. But this time I just wanted to be a hermit in the hotel room. I also wasn't quite as close to these coworkers than some others who I actually am friends with outside of work, so it made it easier to stay in.

I changed into my pyjamas (we got to the hotel just a little after 4pm), had a great Skype date with one of my best girlfriends in Germany who told me everything about her new love interest, then watched TV (the Grammy's were on tonight, and since Whitney Houston just died last night it was full of tributes to her... gosh when was the last time I watched the Grammy's??), in between surfed the Internet and Facebook on my iPad and ordered room service. The company spoils us anyway with our dinner allowance, so I enjoyed a juicy steak with a soup and salad and an ice cold diet coke lol. No alcohol for me tonight!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happy birthday to my dad!

Sending you big hugs and kisses across the oceans between us! At least I was able to chat with my parents, specifically my dad for a while this morning. As it was still early when we called them, we also connected over FaceTime and my parents were able to see Julian and talk to him. That was really the major reason why I bought my dad an iPad in October when we flew back to Thailand. It's just so much easier to use Skype/FaceTime than on his older Laptop. He has also been complaining that his laptop is older and slower, and freezes up more often. According to my mom, the iPad rarely leaves his side, it's so easy to use, turns on and off so quickly, and it's much more mobile and they just love being able to see their grandson roam around at home! Julian still remembers Grandma and Grandpa from our vacation in October... he still asks for them, especially Grandma (because it has been easier for him to prounounce the Thai "Yai" I believe), and often is calling Grandma on his plastic phone, or packs his bag and wants to see Grandma in Thailand!

He is also getting used to talking to them on the iPad, at first he was a little skeptic, but not he talks to them, he shows them things, he feeds them, hands things over to them, kisses them, and I love it especially when he takes over the iPad and runs around the house because he wants to show them his room, something in the kitchen, etc.

We then picked up our friends from last night and headed over to North Tampa to eat lunch at a Vietnamese Restaurant. Pho here we come! At first we made our own fresh rolls (Nem Nuang), and Julian actually loved the fresh springroll skin, and the plain rice vermicelli with some hoisin sauce. Ahhh I am so proud of my little Asian baby :) At least he tries new things and actually likes to eat a variety of things including Thai noodles, etc. My worst fear was that he would turn out like his daddy!!!! When it comes to eating only! Life as a picky eater can't be easy or fun.

After lunch we visited the Pet store across the street and Julian had the best time looking at the kitty cats, the birds, and the fish. Oh, and we saw some dogs too :)

Our last stop before heading home was a Boba Team place. Again another thing that is hard to find around where we live *sigh*. Julian liked the boba tea and the tapioca pearls, and then he wanted to get up on stage with our friend, and they jammed to the music, dancing, singing into make believe microphones and bowing at the end of the songs LOL

At the end of a loooong morning, my little munchkin fell asleep in no time once we got home, and I cuddled up with him and enjoyed our Saturday naptime :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Work can be so much fun!

We celebrated one of my supervisor's birthdays at work today. She actually grew up in Vienna, speaks German, but has been living in the US for many many years (came here as a teenager). Surprisingly, we do not speak German with each other at all! I guess it's too weird if you are used to speaking a certain language with someone and much harder to switch than you imagine.

For example, my sister and I grew up speaking German with each other... to this day we communicate in German, and it's really awkward for us to have to speak Thai with each other even though we both speak Thai fluently and use it without any concern when we speak with our parents and the rest of our Thai family and friends.

My sup's team of course know about her German background, and decorated her desk with pictures of David Hasselhoff LOL of course I had to play along with that one!

When I called all of my supervisors into my office for a "meeting", the birthday girl was the last one to walk in to a room full of us, a birthday cake, a balloon and "I've been looking for freedom" blasting from the radio, hehe.

Yes, all of you in Germany... and I know all of my friends know this song!!!

So here's to cultural diversity :)

And to David Hasselhoff! (No, I wasn't a fan!!)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cupcake trial!

I didn't even take any pictures, so disappointing was my result :( I wanted to get some denser, heavier cupcakes using a boxed cake mix than the usual superfluffy ones. So I asked someone for a recipe and tried it out... but my poor cupcakes fell in the middle and they had a gummy consistency. So I threw them out. Julian was very eager to help though, he lined all the cupcake pans with little papercups, helped me pour the batter and even wanted to wait in front of the oven until they were done. Of course that didn't last long, but at least I captured this much from this cupcake episode :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I love Tylenol Nighttime!

Ahhh... yes I love it! I've been trying cough expectorants, cough syrups and Zyrtec D, anything to help with the nasal drip and thus endless nightly coughing wich equals no sleep.

This morning I was so exhausted so I asked hubby to take Julian to his babysitter's, I got up and got him dressed and ready, then made myself a bowl of hot Thai rice porridge (joke), and a cup of Yogi Bedtime tea, took two Tylenol Nighttime pills and went back to bed. Soon enough I was knocked out, don't you love the feeling of feeling all groggy and drifting off to sleep? I stayed in bed all day, woke up a few times but drifted right back into a heavy sleep until about 3:30pm when hubby came into the bedroom to let me know he was on his way to pick up Julian. So I made myself get up to get rid of the groggy feeling and prepared dinner. At least I feel much better!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Who invented germs??

Don't you wonder about that? Now that Julian is finally feeling better, apparently I got the same cold from him. I have been battling a low grade fever since Saturday night, I don't even know why I went to work this morning. I still blame my mom... when we were little, she never let my sister and I stay home, unless it was very very severe or ordered by the doctor. Even with a fever, headache, stomach ache, you name it, she would give us some Tylenol (or rather Paracetamon) and send us off to school telling us "You'll feel better soon, if not, you can come home later but you have to go to school first."

My head was hurting, my eyes burning and I was so tired from being up coughing, so shortly after lunch I headed back home so I could cuddle up with my little babyboy and take a long afternoon nap with him.

That alone is almost worth being sick :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Happy anniversary!

To me!

Today marks my 11 year anniversary at my company, wow! Hard to believe... time just flies. Seems like just a few years ago I graduated from college, or got my MBA. When I think of the actual year and count back how many it has been been I am always a little shocked... ok, I admit hugely shocked at how old I am!!!! I graduated from college in 1997... and got my MBA in 1999. Uuuugggggh, that's 13 years ago??

But you're as young as you feel! That's right!

Hehehehe... taken at my MBA graduation in 1999!!

(Actually I walked in December 1998, I only had 1 more class to finish
in the spring of 1999 but that's when I "officially"graduated with
all credits)

Fun times!

Cupcakes cupcakes!

When hubby and I got married five years ago, we wished for a KitchenAid Standmixer. Oh such a cool huge machine, all the cool people have one, and all the things you can do with it! We also put several attachments on our wish list and got most of them... the icecream maker, the ravioli and pasta maker, the slicer, the meat grinder, did I forget anything else?

So what has it been doing for the past five years? Sitting under the sink... collecting dust! One thing I have to tell you about myself is that I LOVE LOVE LOVE food with a passion. I don't know what happend to this little girl who used to only eat plain rice with fish sauce or soy sauce and who didn't like any of the cookies they gave out in school, etc. My poor mom had such a hard time trying to get me to eat normal food. But gradually, over time, I started really enjoying food as a teenager, and all of a sudden I would eagerly try out anything new, anything strange, and wasn't a picky eater at all any longer! So miracles can happen!

So I love food and consider myself a foodie, I love trying out new restaurants, new combinations of food (all my friends know that the only things I do not like are raw celery and root beer) and I also love to cook. I've never been a baker though. I don't know why? I have a ton of baking books (I also am fascinated with cook books, and before we had Julian one of my favorite things to do was watching the Food TV Network all day long, especially on the weekends!) but I mostly just look through them, get cravings, get inspired, and ooh and ahh over the pretty pictures and the endless possibilities.

I think I prefer cooking over baking since I typically don't like to follow recipes. I'd rather watch all the cooking shows, look through cook books and then try my own thing, add a splash of this and a splash of that. Even as a kid I loved to experiment. One of the favorite things to do was wait until my parents and sister went out shopping on the weekend... then Chef Phanit came to life in the kitchen! I would slice and dice, cook, broil and sautee all kinds of things! And was sick to my stomach by the time they came back from eating all these random things :) But I loved it!

Anyway, I am rambling again (which unfortunately happens a lot and easily when I write)... I normally don't bake, but I had a breakthrough over Thanksgiving last year.

One of the reps at work brought in a superdelicious, supermoist Chocolate-Flan cake! O-M-G it was like a slice of heaven! I think I visited heaven about three times that day :D And I don't even believe in heaven!

We were invited to spend Thanksgiving at a friend's house so I thought I would attempt to bake this cake, after I was assured it was much easier to bake than it looked like.

The cake was a huge success and surprisingly easy... all I had to do was buy the ingredients and follow the directions (imagine that!).

Oh, just google "Kraft Chocoflan cake" and you will find the recipe. And yes... pour in the chocolate batter first, then ladle the flan over the top, the chocolate batter will float to the top and it will come out just like in the picture... a little science experiment in the kitchen!

Then I had some very successful baking episodes during Christmas time, making cookies, etc. with Julian. Fun and easy! And so delicious!

Then I have been looking through all these beautiful blogs, all the cute cupcakes and other pastries and cakes everyone was baking and displaying so beautifully that I just got infected and inspired and wanted to bake as well.

Plus it reminded me of how much I do miss cake & coffee time in Germany... the Germans really do take time and effort out of their day to lovingly bake cakes from scratch, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, etc. and sit down with their friends and family on the weekends to enjoy a slice of heaven and cup of coffee or tea in the afternoon. What tea time is to the English, Kaffeeklatsch is to the Germans :) As I saw how even busy moms had time to bake cakes, I thought to myself... yes, I can do it too, why not?

Julian is also at a prime time where he just loves to help with anything I do... rather he insists :D I don't have much of a choice if I want to avoid tears and a mad & pouty little toddler!

As it was a Saturday, I decided to visit JoAnn's Fabric with Julian, and look at all this cool stuff for cupcakes...

Heaven!!! We also bought a few things for craftime at home, just fun things to do to color, craft and create with the little one when we are inside and don't feel like taking a trip to the park, etc.

Then I also bought this magazine... hmm... maybe I should just get the subscription and save a ton of money? I wish they had the digital version ironed out, the magazine is supposed to be available for the iPad but all the customer reviews stated that only one issue was out as a ditigal version, which I confirmed. Oh well, I still bought it... if I want to bake, why not have a few good chocolate recipes, right?

Now I'm ready to bake and create! I will keep you posted on my journey :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Daddy & Son

I just love seeing the two of them together, playing, being silly, having fun, cuddling... anything. There is nothing sweeter than seeing your husband, the man you love, with the little person the two of you created :) I know... cheesy!! But if you have a child, you know what I am talking about!!

Julian loves playing by the pond nowadays... sometimes we just sit and watch what's going on, it's a special treat when we see ducks or turtles or any birds flying by, and sometimes we just throw little sticks in the pond! Tonight daddy came home early and came to sit and play by the pond with us...

Have a good night everyone, and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


I love, love Pho! Even though it's not easy to satisfy my cravings considering there is only one Pho place in the area so I was excited when I found the new Pho place at the Mall Food Court and it was so good!

Julian is back to almost normal so I dropped him off at the babysitter's today, and went out during lunch to buy a few things at the mall. Hmmm... perfect opportunity to have their Pho! This time I also tried their fresh spring rolls, they were delicious too. Affordable, fast, and attainable :)

What else did I get at the mall? I love Victoria's Secret... but today I bought a gift for a friend, and some lipgloss to send to my sister in Italy.

How can you not love the combination of red and pink? *sigh*

These have become my most favorite lipglosses! Infallible from L'Oreal. They go on smoothly, and they stay without sticking too much to the point that you have to scrub your lips raw at the end of the day to get rid of the colour. 
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