Wednesday, November 14, 2012

DIY Fundraiser projects

I have spent the last couple weekends helping my youth girls make projects for our Fundraiser; I am so proud of them for working so hard on making all of these projects to fund their ministry so that they could serve our community, and bless others. These group of young ladies are so great and their hearts are so big; I am absolutely amazed and blessed that I work with such a wonderful group. Everything has been hand made with lots of love by these wonderful youth girls; Below are some pictures of a few things we made and are currently selling. 


Fusia bow scarf


My daughter with the yellow bow scarf


Pin cushion pots

Wrap bracelet

Bow headbands
 

These girls inspire and motivate me to be a better person; they teach me what it's like to serve wholeheartedly and love completely. They put so much time, effort and heart into everything they do. I am truly honored to have them in my life.


 Who makes an impact in your life?


Happy mid-week everyone! Bless someone today with a smile or an act of kindness =)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tom Yum Soup w/Prawns & Garlic Stuffed Prawns

The last couple days I have been on a Seafood kick; specifically Prawns! I believe it all started on Monday; when my cousin and I went out and had sushi for dinner. That evening we ended up going to our local Vietnamese market, and I just couldn't resist the big jumbo prawns starring at me. I picked up a couple packs, and made it my mission to make some yummy dishes during the week. First up, I made these delicious garlic/coriander stuffed prawns; that smelled so good around my house. After I finished baking; I was preparing to take a picture of the final product, but the hungry folks in my home had other plans... they devoured it all before I even had the chance to utter out "WAIT!" I do apologize; blame those hungry people =)










My Seafood kick didn't end there; last night I took the left over Prawns and made some Tom Yum Soup for dinner. It was a rather rainy and chilly night, so the soup went perfectly well with it. My advice though, is to never attempt to cook for the sake of blogging when there are whiny hungry people walking around. Trust me... don't; I had it all planned and ready to go. It had been a long and very busy/exhausting weekend for me, I was super tired, my brain was fried, then hungry people started whining how hungry they were; So when I decided to make this Tom Yum soup; half way through I realized I had forgot all the veggies! Of course that didn't matter to them though; after all... they're not much of a fan of those healthy whatchamacallit things anyways.



I do plan on re-visiting these again in the near future, when hungry people are no longer hungry and I'll have a better chance of snapping better pictures with the finished dish. 


As mentioned earlier, I have had a super busy weekend. Last weekend was completly hectic and exhausting. We were having our Harvest Festival at my Church, and so I was there all weekend for 12 hours plus to help get things set up and ready to go for all the kiddos on Sunday Evening. By Monday morning, I could not get out of bed... every inch of me was sore and in pain, but it made me happy to know that all that hard work was well worth it in the end when we saw all the kiddos having a great time for Harvest Fest. Here's a few pictures I got to snap of the many talented youth at my Church and the awesome work they did. 



The Wishing Well Game


Face Painting Table

The Hallway

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week thus far! One thing I've learned this week is that; even after all the planning, sometimes things don't go as planned and that doesn't mean it's ruined; it just simply means it'll be slightly different, but it's OKAY! Nothing will steal your joy; if you don't allow it. It all depends on your attitude over the circumstance =) 


What is one thing you learned this week?


Happy Friday's Eve everyone! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Family time at the Kiyokawa Family Orchards

Oh how lovely it was to be able to take my parents and my daughter up towards the base of Mt. Hood; a beautiful scenic drive up to the Kiyokawa Family Orchards; for a day of picking our own apples. As mentioned, the drive there was beautiful! It's an hour drive from where I live, and the drive was well worth it. We left around 3:30pm on a Sunday afternoon; it was more of a spur of the moment trip, but it has been something I've been excited to do with my daughter for awhile and just haven't had the time. Back home it was raining, but surprisingly it was so nice and sunny as we drove up further towards the base of Mt. Hood. It was a lovely drive and day spent with family =)

On our way to the Kiyokawa Family Orchard Farm!

Passing by Rooster Rock State Park



Started to get dark and sprinkle a little


About 30 minutes into the drive; my daughter asks the dreaded question on a road trip "Mooooooooom, are we there yet?!!" I said no, we just barely hit the road and we still have a little ways to go. She whines and says "But we have been on the road FOREVER! It's been like an hour already!" She eventually took a nap and by the time we got there, she was up and ready to go pick yummy apples!








She was nice and bundled up; keeping warm while running around picking apples. I loved how excited she was, she even said "This is so fun, Mom!"


Yummy Pears!
We walked further into the field and found these super sweet pears! They are the sweetest pears I have ever had. So naturally of course; we picked a bunch of these as well =)

So delicious!


Oh, and then we came across these super sweet and juicy Asian pears! My parents were like little kids in a candy store when we came across these =) They excitedly picked a bunch.





And finally the two apples I was most excited for; were these beauties! The delicious oh so juicy and sweet; Honey Crisp apple and this STUNNING golden on the outside and red flesh on the inside like a Watermelon called; Mountain Rose! 


One of my favorites; Honey Crisp!

Has now become one of my favorites; Mountain Rose!

Isn't that a beauty?! I have not seen anything like this before. I couldn't wait to get home and cut one up to show you all! Can you imagine this in a pie or a tart? Oh I'll have to try it out very soon!

 
 Over all, it was a day/weekend well spent with family. We had a great time at this super friendly family orchard, all the employees were super nice, the owners walk up and greet you with nice warm smiles and talk to you. A great abundance of variety apples/pears to choose from. I absolutely recommend this place if you live in the Oregon/Washington and are looking for something simple/fun to do with your family/kids. 



What's one fond memory you have as a child growing up with your family?

Have a wonderful week everyone!  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Roasted Lemon Thyme Chicken & A man who just doesn't understand!

Ah, another great comfort food for me is Roasted Chicken. Fall is all about comfort foods for me; I love the chilly evenings with something hot, filling, yummy and full of goodness simmering on the stove or baking in the oven. 
For dinner; I decided to roast a chicken, and jazz it up with lemon thyme butter!

Delicious Lemon-Thyme Roasted Chicken


This turned out spectacular! The aroma of the thyme, lemon and butter just filled the house, and my daughter was just excitingly anticipating dinner. When it was ready, I took my time to make it look presentable and pretty; the man said "It looks good already, Men don't care if it looks pretty on the dinner table, we just want to dig in and eat!" hmph... men; they will never understand! I of course proceeded to make it look pretty before digging in to eat =) Oh! and Mothers this was child approved; my daughter helped herself to seconds and proclaimed this was the best chicken she has EVER had in her whole (entire 9 1/2 years) life.




Ingredients:
1 whole chicken
1 lemon
1- 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme (or dried)
1 stick of butter
salt/pepper


 Directions:
Rinse chicken/pat dry, sprinkle salt/pepper according to your taste, and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place soften butter in a bowl, mince thyme and grate lemon zest (about 1- 1 1/2) place in the same bowl as butter. Mix the ingredients together until everything is incorporated. Carefully loosen the skin around the chicken so you can rub the butter mixture in between the skin and meat evenly. Take the rest of the mixture and rub it all over the outer side. Take your lemon, cut in wedges or halves and place inside the cavity; along with some sprigs of thyme. Pop it in the oven and let the roasting begin! It'll take 40-45 mins depending on how big your chicken is. Feel free to make it as pretty as you want; enjoy!
 

The makings of a wonderful dinner!



Name one quirk you have; that your man will never understand? =) 


It's mid-week ladies, hang in there! 

 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Cookies & a time to relax

Saturday was just one of those Pumpkin kind of days; when you see bright orange Pumpkins everywhere you go, and the colorful Fall leaves scattered all around town reminding you that Autumn is here, making you just want to sink your teeth into a nice yummy pumpkin pie with lots of whip cream. Instead of making Pumpkin Pie, I decided to make Pumpkin Spice Cookies! Oh let me tell you; they were perfectly soft and chewy on the inside, and tasted just like mini Pumpkin Pie bites. I topped it off with some Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses, and that made it even more delish! A perfect Fall treat, and a big hit at the pot luck I brought these to on Sunday.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies



Pumpkin Spice Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:

Basic sugar cookie recipe
1 tsp of pumpkin spice
1 tsp of cinnamon 
1tsp of vanilla extract
1- 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin in a can
1 bag of pumpkin spice hershey kisses

Directions: 

Follow your basic sugar cookie recipe, or you can always just use premixed sugar cookie. Add pumpkin spice, cinnamon, vanilla extract and pumpkin in a can into the mixture and mix and fold until all ingredients incorporate and get to know each other very well. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, Then take your cookie sheet and line it up with parchment paper; scoop about a tablespoon of dough and drop it on cookie sheet. Bake until golden brown; take it out and let it cool for about a minute before pressing down the hershey kiss. 

Tips:

Pumpkin spice hershey kisses melt a lot faster than regular hershey kisses, so you will want to place them in the freezer while mixing and baking your cookies, once cookies has cooled for about a minute, then take out the hershey kisses, peel and gently press into the cookie. It will melt a bit onto the cookie, but it will harden back up once it's cooled. Place in the fridge to help harden.



On another note; I have been day dreaming of a weekend of alone time with just  only me and nothing but the sounds of the waves crashing. A time of solitude, a moment to relax with some peace and quite, be refreshed and rejuvenate. Do any of you ladies feel this way? I think women lead such busy hectic lives taking care of everyone and everything; that they tend to forget about themselves. I think once in awhile; it's okay to just step away for a moment to refresh ourselves so we can come back ready to take on everyday happenings. Below is a picture of one of these moments for me; one where I got to do just that. A weekend of just over looking the beach at the beach house; with nothing but just me and the sounds of the wave crashing. No time to worry about, no running around like a headless chicken trying to get things done. No rush hour traffic, no phones, no work emails. Stress-free and relaxing weekend so I can come back the best person I can be for everyone in my life =) 

Relaxing @ Seaside, OR
 

There's nothing like waking up on a cold Fall morning; after the rain fall at the beach. Sitting on the balcony of the beach house and sipping on a hot cup of tea; listening to the waves. I absolutely love our beaches; they are so peaceful and beautiful. There's a sense of peace every time I come here; I never want to leave! 


What are ways you take time for yourself?


Happy Monday everyone! Make this a wonderful week =)  
















Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall weather brings soupy days!

We have been having some awesome Sunny warm days up until today; it's dark, gloomy and yes it's raining outside. It's chilly, but not too cold to turn on the heat yet. How else to warm up on a chilly day? Make a big pot of Chicken pot pie soup! I found therapy in chopping the veggies, shredding the chicken and yes even stirring the pot. The heavenly aroma filled my house; oh it was lovely!

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

This hearty yummy soup is perfect and warms up my soul; it really is comfort food! Filled with veggies, protein and packed with flavor; even my daughter who isn't so fond of peas, gobbled it up with not one complaint of eating peas. Winning!

I actually made this pot last night, and let me tell ya... this was the perfect ending to my day. The stress and exhaustion from work  fled my mind as soon as I helped myself to a bowl of comfort. The best part is; this will be waiting for me when I get home later, and I know it will even be more fantastic! Foods like this are always better the next day! 

A bowl of comfort!

Chicken Pot Pie Soup Recipe

Ingredients:  

2 cups potatoes peeled and chopped
1 onion chopped
1 -1 1/2 cup celery chopped
1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables  (carrots, peas, corn, green beans)
1 tbsp. fresh chopped thyme
2 cups of skinless cooked chicken breast 
4 cups of milk
1/2 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth 
2 cubes of chicken bouillon
Salt/Pepper to taste 


Directions:

In a pot, add some water half way in the pot and bring to a boil, add your chicken breast and let cook (15-20 mins) Then take out the chicken breast and set aside to shred later. In the same pot, add your potatoes, onions, celery and chicken bouillon and slowly simmer until veggies are fork tender. Add your frozen veggie mix, thyme and continue to simmer. Take the chicken breast and shred them and adding them into the pot. Pour in 1 cup of chicken broth; and pour the rest of chicken broth in a small pot with flour on medium high heat, whisking and slowly pouring in milk until all ingredients are nice and smooth. When it starts to thicken up, pour into your big pot of soup, letting it simmer until the soup thickens. If your soup is too thick, just add more chicken broth or if you want it thicker, just add about 1/4 cup of flour and let it simmer longer until it thickens to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste according to your preference. 


I hope you will enjoy this bowl of comfort along with me! 
 

Tell me one of your favorite comfort foods?



Happy Friday everyone, have a wonderful weekend!







 

 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend of Revival

This past week has been a bit of a whirl wind; I felt like it's been one big emotional roller coaster ride all week. I think trying to be strong and stay positive for everyone else, while they were down and out and negative about certain areas in their lives... it somehow crept up on me as well. I let the seed of their fears, doubts, questions, worries, and stress grow in me; and oh how it did grow! I suddenly started feeling the things they felt in myself; to the point where I would lie awake at night filled with anxiety and disappointment, and those things were the first things that crept in my mind the instant I awoke the next morning.

But let me tell you, there is light at the end of the tunnel, because this past weekend I got to go to the Women of Faith Conference with some of my ladies (all 9 of us) and we had a blast with the other thousands of ladies in the arena that night! It was the most spectacular weekend, filled with tears and laughter. Hearing messages that seemed to be graphed up and tailored to fit what I had been battling with all week. I could feel my spirits being lifted once more and my soul start to dance in gladness again. Here's a few pictures I got to snap in between the tears and laughter's.

The view from our seats of the beautiful stage at WOF 2012!

One of the many memorable moments of the night when everyone whipped out their cell phone's to be a City on the Hill!


Another wonderful moment when this Painter created a Master piece right before our eyes!


At the end of the night, WOF had reached their goal of sponsoring many children, and so some of the ladies husbands had to prance around in tutu's and a red umbrella, during worship. I think the men were enjoying it a little too much =)


I went into that arena this past weekend; filled with doubt, frustration, stress, emotional baggage, anger, resentment, hurt, sadness, hopelessness, envy, worries and full of fear and anxiety. I walked out of that arena fulfilled, my cup surplus, filled with hope, full of love, wrapped up in grace and mercy, and I am back to my old self again... oozing with positivity and ready to pass it along once more! The theme was about "Revival" and I must say, I truly felt revived afterwards! 

The icing on the cake, was during dinner with my ladies after the two days of the conference. We were sitting around sharing what was most impactful for us and sharing our struggles and lending each other encouragement and words of comfort in love. The waitress came around and handed us our fortune cookies; as everyone was still chit chatting around the table, I decided to crack open my fortune cookie and just about fainted! Surely this can't be? How? What in the world?! OMGEE?!! I let out a huge gasped that could have been heard miles away, my eyes wide open and mouth about hit the floor. Everyone just stopped talking and immediately asked me what was wrong. I must remind you that I walked into the WOF conference filled with Fear and anxiety of all the "What if's" and the fear of the unknown etc. and when  I saw my fortune cookie and what it said... I just about died or pee'd in my pants =) Here's what I saw people!

My confirmation =)


Oh Hallelujah! This was my confirmation, as if He had to make sure I ended the night knowing that He's got me in the palm of His hands. He is saying to me "Do not worry, I got you! I got you! For whom shall you fear?" Yes, I heard it loud and clear! All the ladies were just in total shock along with me =) My God never ceases to amaze me. He surely has a sense of humor and yes He can deliver message in creative ways i.e in fortune cookies at a Chinese restaurant! =D That was my weekend folks; A very memorable one.  


Have a great week everyone! Don't let Monday beat you up too much =)



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Reeses Peanut Butter Bars

Last night I made these yummy Reeses Peanut Butter Bars. They were delish, and It really did taste like Reeses Pieces! I like peanut butter on occasion, but I'm not a real big fan of it, so I'm not sure where I got my sudden Peanut Butter cravings from? I've been on a PB&J frenzy lately, so I was ecstatic when I came across this recipe, because I absolutely adore Reeses Pieces!! 


This was so easy to make and SO yummy it totally fulfilled my Peanut Butter cravings! See below for the receipe =)


Ingredients
1 cup butter melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup + 4 tablespoons peanut butter
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners' sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 inch pan. In a metal bowl over simmering water, or in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Spread over the peanut butter layer. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares. 

I tweaked this recipe a little to my liking. I only used about 1 1/2 of confectioners sugar because I didn't want it too sweet. I also added a tad bit more peanut butter to the mix; I'll say 1 cup and 4 tablespoon of Peanut Butter for the mixture and stuck with the 4 tablespoon of Peanut Butter for melting and incorporating with the chocolate chips. 


Adapated from:  Let's Dish




What is your favorite candy bar?


Have a wonderful day!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Chicken Laab Gai Recipe


 Happy Monday everyone! Isn't this little desk calender cute?! I came into work this morning, and my boss gave these out to each one of us. Last week, my boss was traveling in Hong Kong and picked up these hand painted desk calenders for us.

  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. For me, I was once again a busy bee, but that didn't stop me from making this Chicken Laab Gai for dinner last night. This is one of my favorite dishes because it's spicy, sour and full of wonderful flavors. To eat this with sticky rice is just Ah... heaven! 



Ingredients

1lbs of organic ground chicken (you can use shredded chicken breast)
1 cup of organic low sodium chicken stock (you can use water in place of stock)
1-2 tablespoon fish sauce
1-2 tablespoon lime juice
1/2-1 cup of cilantro
1/2-1 cup of mint leaves
1/2-1 cup of green onions
1 tablespoon hot red chillie flakes
2 tablespoon of toasted ground rice
2-3 shallots thinly sliced
1/2-1 tablespoon of red thai chillie peppers
1-2 tablespoon of wet tamarind (soak in a bowl of water and mush around til you have a brown liquid)



Directions

Pour a cup of chicken stock into your wok or pan and bring it to a boil, add your ground chicken and cook thoroughly, add fish sauce and turn off the stove. Pour the ground chicken with the juices into a good size mixing bowl, let is sit for a bit to cool down, then add your shallots, cilantro, mint leaves, chillie flakes, chillie peppers, lime juice and wet tamarind juice (only use the juice) and toasted ground rice. Mix everything together; adding more fish sauce or lime juice and peppers to your liking. I used Romain lettuce leaves and scooped some of the Laab Gai onto the leaf, sprinkled it with some paprika for a pop of color and garnished with some Mint leaves and a wedge of lime. Eat as is, or enjoy it with some sticky rice!


Enjoy!




What's one dish that makes you say "ah... this is Heaven!"?


Have a lovely week everyone!



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall Bronze Office Look

Fall Bronze office look


The first day of Fall will be this Saturday, but it still feels like Summer here. I'm really looking forward to Fall; it's one of my favorite Seasons. I love all the deep rich Autumn colors for Fashion. I love seeing all the beautiful leaves changing their colors; lining the streets with their beauty. Most of all, I love not sweating like a pig in the HOT Summer heat! Sorry if that was TMI... If it makes you feel any better; I really don't sweat like a pig; I just dislike being uncomfortably hot and, well sticky.

I put together this outfit today, maybe it has a little too much bronzyness; perhaps it's a little too matchy; or a little boring.... Whatever the case, I happen to like it. It's sweet, simple, and perfect for me to prance around the office in. The flats are comfortable enough to run errands on my hour lunches; the purse is big enough to hall around my million things I stuff in my bag. The pants has a tinge of Vintage which I love; the jewelery is not too overpowering for the work place, and well the blouse is just lovely.


Floral print shirt, $26 / Nude shoes, $37 / Prada leather tote, $2,090 / Stella & Dot jewelry / Lauren Conrad jewelry / Earrings, $79 / J.Crew j crew





What is your favorite Fall color ?


Enjoy your Tuesday everyone! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Great friends and Hot buns!

Oh my, where do my weekends go? I've been so busy decorating my Sunday School Class for my new students, and putting together lesson plans, trying to find new ways be creative and make the classroom a fun and enjoyable learning atmosphere without losing touch of what's important. It's been fun, challenging, overwhelming, and joyous. I had my first day of teaching my new students this past Sunday, and I must say... it was quite calm and peaceful, and they were excited to see the new classroom. I'll post some pictures up of some cool DIY classroom projects in a later post. 

For now I will just post another subject that makes me joyous; FOOD! Yes, food. I spent the day with some of my girlfriends on Saturday, and we made some hot buns otherwise known as "Hum Bao Steamed Buns" They were light, fluffy, moist and full of goodness. Please forgive me as I can't muster the energy to type out the reciepe and ingredients; perhaps when I have a moment to breathe and a day to relax; I will post it up in the future. As for now, I'll just post up a picture. That's the best I can do =(



After Church on Sunday, my best friend, her little sister, and my daughter and I went out for dinner. We had a grand time sharing laughs, and the kiddos had a great time. I don't know what they put in that apple juice, but the girls sure were extra giggly all the way home. 

They were a little skimpy on the fries, but the steak was good and more fries would have been bad for me anyways.

My daughter didn't want to be in the picture, but she gave a thumbs up for her approval of her plate of food.




What makes you joyous?



I love starting out my week refreshed and happy. I hope you all have a wonderful week as well!