Making breadcrumbs



blog 006I was cleaning the kitchen yesterday and found old hotdogs and hamburger buns in the fridge(yes, we put them in the fridge because of our mice problem). They’re about to expire and I don’t want to waste food. I decided to make breadcrumbs  which is so easy. I use this for making homemade meatballs and pan de sal and some recipes.If you will buy this (15 oz) at Walmart, it will cost you a $1 something.

blog 001And why not, right?.And you might wonder why we have this kind of leftover buns? Our girls are moody when it comes eating hotdogs. There are days they want it with the bun and there are days just only hotdog.

blog 002What I did, I baked them first (350°F for 10 minutes,until toasted and let cool.I slightly crushed them before putting in a blender. Or, you can just put in a big Ziploc or plastic bag and crushed it using rolling pin or empty jar. Or something really hard that can smash it–hammer, I guess?

blog 005See my finished product? I avoided food waste and at the same time I save some dinero!

Credit Card Payoff Challenge: Month 1



blog 023-001It’s been over a month since I posted about our credit card debts. And we are in a challenge to pay it off as early as we can. I read some blogs on their success how they paid theirs and hopefully we do the same.

Our total credit card debts when I started this post was $15,265.44!

What now?!

Sad, isn’t it? But, this figure helped us to get by these past months when we both changed jobs while still having day care back balance (thank goodness it’s already paid!).

I was brave enough to swiped all my major cards to small purchases because all of them are 0% interest for a certain months. Good thing!

Except my husbands’.

And as I’m writing this our current balance is $12,364.30. Wow (!) for us, after doing the challenge for the first month. And you might ask, how did we do it?

When we got our tax refund we paid off two store credit cards (with soaring interest)where we used to buy my camera for a promotional price and our flat screen TV which my husband’s “gift” for himself. It’s very enticing to walk around the store and to see all the how many percent off items and you are only grab away to your wallet for your screaming store credit card, then you would realize you’re already outside the store pushing the cart with your new TV.

Sigh.

I told to myself when we get our refund I will pay off these two cards because what’s the point of getting promotional price when you are paying for high interest,right? It makes no sense except the fact that you got what you wanted-in credit.

Those two cards are crossed-out. Thankfully! And it feels better to see the numbers of your credit cards decreasing one month after.

Also, the heating bill goes down and whatever saved money we have I put it on paying extra a month on one of our credit cards, at least.

I try to look for all penny-pinching tips that will help our budget. I do a lot of savings so far from cooking from scratch and watching the store’s sales. (Here’s my list for my saving tips)

This is going to be a long but fun ride and hopefully we’ll get to the place where we want to go—credit card debt-free family!

 

 

Organizing Our Home Office

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It took me forever to finally came to this part to clean and organize our home office. It was so messy before. As I always say, organizing is not my forte but I’m trying my best to improve this department. Since last weekend and yesterday, I kept focusing to improve the sight of our little office and it took a lot of my energy and time to clean up for this small space. All the organizing list from papers,trash and tiniest thing I could find.  It’s a lot!

Now I know how come people say they don’t like organizing.

Ahem to me!

blog 053Our office room is inside our bedroom. Since, the layout of our house is a little different,we did something different with it. I think, supposedly, our bedroom was the previous homeowner’s living room. We keep our old couch when we moved to this house and decided to put in the office room.

As you can see the door with plastic cover (I know that it looks terrible!), it’s only for winter to prevent cold air coming in.

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Also, this is where I put some of my clothes. I only have a little dresser. My husband wanted to buy me a bigger one but I refused with the promise I will find places for my clothes which thankfully I did!

In short, this place is 2-in-1: Office room and my open dresser.

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So, how did I get motivated to do some actions on this? First, I’m getting tired looking at it and my husband keeps on bugging me for some time. I always give him alibi that I’m tired from work, my different work schedule is the reason why and all these reasoning I came up with.

I feel ashamed to myself after I watched videos and read some blogs about home organizing and spent hours of reading and surfing the net and yet I ended up doing nothing (Cough! Cough!).I said, I will start by doing it little by little. I started from the books to collecting all my notebooks and put them together in one place. It took me all day to finish this room. It was long but fun in the end.

blog 005Today, it is spacious where our girls can play while I’m writing on my blog or doing some surfing. After I organized our home office, I felt like a long time burden just took off that made me feel much better. You know that moment when you clean your house or you do your chores in one day, you feel so much better that you are productive.

Our sewer line is fixed

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Last week, we got our sewer line fixed. Yay for our house! We’ve been having problem with it since last Christmas and we had the plumber to come over to see what’s going on. He said, it’s clogged up and in less than an hour it got fixed.

Then, couple months after here we go again. The joy of  homeowners-fix here and fix there! We bought this house so cheap, it’s spacious and we live at the end of the town,so it’s peaceful but old house. Still, we love it! But everytime I do laundry you could her the noise in our kitchen sink. Weird.

At first, we didn’t know it’s ours because the first plumber to check it the first time told us our line goes to different way and not headed to our next door neighbor. But, he was wrong to conclude that, our line goes to the other way and it’s broken. The city office called us and asked us to fix it. We were hesitant at first because we’re not sure if the problem is ours.

We talked to our neighbor’s  landlady because both of us were not sure who needs to pay for fixing it. The problem is in front of our neighbor’s garage. The city office lady said, they could hire somebody in town to do the job and when they find out who’s line is it will pay the cost. It’s tough offer because we know they charge expensive.

So, the answer?

We had a plumbing company to do free estimate of how much it would cost us to fix it. He said it’s our line. It’s $2300 at least!

Twenty-three hundred dollars! The least cost.

A good thing we have our friend’s son who has plumbing service  (who said we need Angie’s list to this matter?)and he charged us cheap and right.

The cost? It’s $1275. It’s like half price the first plumbing company wanted to charge us.  And we’re so thankful that it’s all done!

Oops…

We don’t want to feel in so much bliss because as normal, always something comes up whenever. Still, we’re glad it’s over with.

Happy Easter Everyone!

blog 022 It’s Easter and I worked. Yikes! I thought I would work as scheduled from 6am to noon but I got called in if I could do the overnight shift which I did. We planned to attend the 8:15am mass (but we failed!).Somehow, I’m so thankful that we’ll celebrating this special day with the family and couple friends. Last year, we celebrated Easter with our family while it was a little chilly.

Anyway,do you see our girls dresses? I bought them cheaply few days ago.

We just loved to see how them pick up the plastic eggs.

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It’s much more fun now because they can go run fast whenever they spot the colorful eggs

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We had ham,mashed potato and homemade biscuits.

See the yummy biscuits I made?

blog 026Spaghetti corn that our friends brought.

blog 028I was full after eating half what’s on my plate.

Before Easter, we’ve been busy doing something for egg hunting.

blog 003I made our youngest daughter handmade Easter basket. Last year, she used the one for Halloween basket. And I decorated the basket we have at home and put some handle made of grocery bag and I put a ribbon on it.

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Last Friday,we went to the nursing home who had it first egg hunting.They do this every year and We were almost half an hour late, because I went to the meeting and only few minutes left before 2pm to get ready.

blog 015The girls were scared to take picture with Easter bunny. So, I didn’t let this pass by.

blog 040We went to the lake for our friend’s birthday party. It was so beautiful yesterday and they had egg hunting too!

And yes, we are such a busy family especially during this time of the year.

 

 

I Met A Cooper Brother

blog 024Sometimes, you’ll never know who you would meet. A couple days ago while at work and only an hour before I leave work, a little kid came in front of the kitchen and wanting something. I asked him if he needed anything? He said, he wanted large beef pizza (if you’re not aware, I work as a part-time kitchen help at the convenience store).

He looks really young and I’m thinking he’s in his 20s or younger, with his cowboy hat on, I could tell, he’s not from town. I told him, it would take 10-15 minutes to get his pizza done which he said “that’s fine” with a smile on his face. He is sweet!

After I put the pizza in the oven, I looked back  to remind him our monthly specials. He could order two large single topping pizza for $20 but he’s gone and maybe, I thought, he’s somewhere around the store burning time while waiting.

Then, he’s back with his wide smile and told me he wanted to order another one. And I started the conversation telling him, that’s a good idea because it would be cheaper if he orders two. He told me, he just saw the ad that’s why he added one.

And not being so snoopy, I asked him where he’s from? He told me he’s from Missouri  and they’re heading to Utah(!) and next stop in Alaska (!Holy smokes!) and they have a band-with his brother. And I was thinking, just like Jonas brothers?. But he told me, they sing gospel music. I never heard of them but for me this is fun!

He’s waiting for me after I got done filling up the donut case and he handed me their business card with all the information on there. I told him, I would check it once I got home.

That’s fun to see his face on their website and I was like, I just met this kid less than an hour ago and I couldn’t believe I’m reading about their background and listened to few of their songs. And I bet his name is Jonathan.

It also happened one time, that I met a young kid (probably he’s a  highschool kid) who looks like Eminem, the rapper! I told him right away what I thought and he said, he got a lot of those. Good judgment then. Yay for me!

Grocery bill this week is high.

blog 009Our weekly grocery budget is $65 and we wanted to keep it that low by finding good sales,cooking from scratch and using few coupons. But this week,our bill is over $65, it was $39.63 to be exact.  And I needed to put some of my grocery items in a plastic bag,my reusable bag couldn’t handle all at once.

Why this high?

Easter will be this weekend. I bought some chocolates for the girls’ egg hunting.Thank goodness, we don’t have to buy their baskets, we saved what they got last year. Tim found plastic eggs for free!

Also, we’re going to have Easter dinner. I bought 5 lb. of ham for $10. Ouch! And aside from that, we bought new can opener, our old one was being pain in the kitchen. And that was additional $8 to our budget.

The only meat I bought was bag of frozen chicken tenders (to be grilled), ham and salmon.

Next week, our budget will be back to normal! Hopefully.

Cheap dresses.

blog 002Aren’t they look beautiful? I went to grocery shopping yesterday and made a swift trip to JCPenney after I got $10 off coupon if I purchase at least $10 or more worth of items-from clothes,clearance sale, accessories,home decors and more.

They sent me few coupons that will expire this Saturday. And we all should know how to play the retailers’ game. Just buy what you need and use the store coupons wisely. I could’ve bought new clothes for me ( for free!) if I use one of my coupons-the $10 off! They also sent me $10 off when you spend $25 worth of items.

I stayed at the store almost half an hour because I couldn’t make up my mind. I wanted to grab the blue sweater for $2! and a little tights for our daughter BUT we don’t need both because we already have them.

I kept walking around the store and I spent my whole visit at the kids’ section and notice these chiffon pink dresses with different sizes. And Easter will be this weekend and I know this will be perfect for the girls.

I asked myself, when was the last time I bought them dresses? Hmm…just last year for Christmas,two beautiful black dresses.

I like to dress them alike because I think it’s cute even if they’re not twins. I just love to see two little siblings wearing same outfit for some reason.I’m not shopaholic, though. And I’m lucky enough to go the mall to browse items and buy them on the spot.

blog 003But this purchase is worthy. Originally,both dresses worth $80, and it was on sale for $12.99 each!

Plus, $10 off coupon.

So, I only ended up paying $17.10 including taxes! Yay for my girls and for me. I can’t wait to take pictures of them wearing these dresses on Easter.

 

 

Making Good Pizza Crust



blog 002I decided to make pepperoni pizza yesterday for lunch, it doesn’t take that much to do it except waiting for the flour mixture to rise.

And I was overjoyed after the pizza came out as I pleased. I could say, it’s the best pizza, so far, I’ve ever made and I know with a little bit of experimenting, it turns out much better than my previous ones.

I can eat the whole pizza crust and don’t care about the toppings, as my husband always tells me: I’m a bread person! That’s why I love Pizza Hut’s hand-tossed and pan pizza and though, I’m not going to compare to theirs but I taste the similarity—bread taste like. And that’s what I want!

So, how did I make it?

Here’s the recipe I use for making pizza crust. And since I was out of all-purpose flour, I decided to use bread flour instead and replace honey with sugar. And the result is fantastic! From now on, I won’t use all-purpose flour at all.

Still the same process. I used pasta sauce this time and spread thinly because you don’t want to flood the crust with so much sauce, I didn’t like it but you can try if you want to put more. It all depends on our taste,right?

blog 001And our daughter asked me this morning to make pizza again because she really “loves” it! And I can’t wait to make this again next time.

 

 

My Biracial Kids

blog 001-001Oops…I’m sorry for the distracting background view. If you have two little ones like me who have specialization on ruining their room, welcome to the club!

But I just want you to know I have biracial kids. My husband is an American (technically speaking European : Irish and Scottish ethnicity) and me 100% Filipino!

And we’re blessed to have two little girls (and that’s it!) who people oftentimes ask us if they’re twins? I was asked by this a million million times and nope, they’re not twins, they’re not too apart when it comes to age, 13 months to be exact.

I’m loving parenthood from the start. It’s full of challenge and I never held newborn before,like hour after they were born. And to hold them was very schweet!

Just a quick experience to share with you:

When we got back to the Philippines for a family vacation, few people from the airport told us  and even the guard wanted us to show him our daughters’ faces. And the funny thing is, we were at the shopping mall looking for my husband’s clothes when the saleslady told me our girls are “so cute ” then asked me if “I was their nanny?!”. I was about to hit her just turned away and decided not to buy anything after she never apologized of what she said when I told her “they’re mine”.

What interesting to me is how to raise biracial kids? Especially with their half Filipino background? Honestly, I’m a little bit disappointed to meet parents who have half Filipino kids who don’t know how to speak our language. I know, it’s their prerogative not to do so but isn’t it nice to talk to kids who know both languages? I was even told by one of my relatives back home don’t teach them our language so that everytime we go back for a vacation,some kids will talk to them in English and “that’s cool” because it will encourage other kids to speak foreign.

Somewhat, I agree. I remember as little kid,once a week at late afternoon there used to be couple Mormons in our town (one American and one Filipino) walking around and I was excited to talk to the American lady that I ended up sending letter which she responded. Woo!

And now being a parent of biracial kids, I want to impart to them some of the cultures and traditions we have.

Hold on, myself!

What if our girls grow up not speaking Filipino? For me, it would be embarrassing because I’ve been promoting this to our household except to my husband who has having hard time to understand. But, with our girls I can see,it’s working.

  • Teach them the other heritage. Before our little girls were born, I already promised to myself that they will know about Filipino heritage,just to be fair. And I think every parents should introduce them to the other heritage and try as hard as they could.
  • Train them as bilingual. I’m really thankful to have fellow Filipina mothers with half-American kids, they gave me tip to teach my little girls as early as possible because most of them didn’t. And it’s harder when they grow old and start learning. Although, not too late but it would  be hard. The reason on this is, we Filipinos are so adaptable. But don’t be surprised that there are some Filipinas married to Americans who don’t let them speak Filipino at home. It’s really selfish and a little bit immature to me. I’m glad my husband doesn’t care at all because he knows how important it is for me. And we should all agree with that. I used to work with this Laotian young lady. She speaks both, Lao at home and English.
  • Teach them the culture. Personally,  ”Mano po” should be carry on regardless what part of the world you’re living in as a Filipino. My girls know how to do it and everybody amuses and asks me what’s the meaning of that? .They think it’s nice.
  • Let them eat the “food”. Would you believe me if I tell you our girls love to eat rice? Probably, you would. How about Adobo or Mechado? They’re meat and you would not hesitate to believe me if they do. But what if I tell you, they love dried and smoked fish? Dried and smoked fish?! The items that I can only find at the Asian store. Yes, they love it and the funny thing is, they will trade pancake and bacon over this for breakfast. My grandma laughed when I told her about it and my husband jokingly told me “don’t treat our girls like this”. They love Filipino cuisine and rarely they refuse some of them which I’m so glad.

But let me clear, you don’t need to have biracial kids to teach two languages. I learned English as my second language from the school and learned more American culture right after I moved here. Still, I inculcate my Filipino background no matter where I go because my American friends ask about it out of their curiosity.