31 years of gratitude

dsc_4991Last Thursday I turned 31. As always, I celebrated it low-key with my family and close friends. On Thursday morning, I got a handmade (they’re always the best!) birthday cards from our daughters. I always prefer a card rather than a gift but I ended up getting a couple. My husband gave me a birthday card with my favorite Hershey’s candy bar (cookies ‘n’ creme) and a cute necklace with a pink heart pendant with the word ‘Mom’ written on it. They asked me to wear it all day, on my birthday. So I did.

That night we ordered a large pizza, hot wings, garlic bread, and a small chocolate cake. (From time to time we have to treat ourselves with these.) And supposedly we had to go to a restaurant in Fremont last Saturday night but the cold weather imperiled that plan. So we just ordered two take-outs of steaks (for the four of us!) at the restaurant here in town.

dsc_4993Then yesterday after we went to church, we headed to our friend’s house for my post-birthday celebration. We were less than fifteen people (including kids) and we had enough food on the table. I cooked a few Filipino dishes and desserts and one friend cooked rice and soup while my other friends gave me a birthday cake, brought paper plates, plastic cups and utensils, and a gift.

We also watched two movies while the kids were playing upstairs. The party lasted for six hours and the celebration is not complete without taking tons of photos because as my husband always tells me, “You Filipinos really love your pictures taken!

And yes, we REALLY DO!!!

dsc_4987I grew up not having a big birthday party every year and I like this way so much–enough food to eat and simplicity all around. Being with my family and great friends on this special day is enough reason for me to celebrate and be thankful for another year of existence.

Keeping it as simple as possible yet hard to forget.

Hope you’re all having a great Monday, everyone!!!


No meat in grocery cart this week


…except for breakfast and lunch meat that my family likes to eat. We still have pork, chicken, ground beef, and fish in the freezer that will last us until next week.

I bought what we’re out of—olive oil, red potatoes, bread flour, fruits, vegetables, two gallons of milk, and a couple healthy snacks (dark chocolate and almonds).


I went home yesterday with only a few bags of groceries and that means I’m below with our weekly grocery budget. So yay to this!

Happy weekend, everyone!


I want to be a Yogi


Okay, I found this yoga book at Goodwill (of course!) a week ago for .99 cents and I bought it. I’ve been yearning to learn yoga for so long. I think it’s really cool and just knowing the health benefits it offers makes me do these challenging body stretching for the rest of my life (that’s how serious I am). And right now, my legs and shoulders are a little bit sore. A few times I did this 20-minute yoga for beginners and I liked it even though there was a part where I couldn’t touch my toes.

In yoga, it’s a lot of stretching to keep our flexibility. And it’s true that it keeps our mind calm. It’s interesting to learn that at every yoga pose, it strengthens a certain part of our body. That’s why I want to do this. Yoga is inexpensive and we can do this at home.

I don’t have a yoga mat yet. For now I don’t think I need it. I’m happy to do this activity in our bedroom, on a soft carpet in front of a big mirror where I can see myself doing the cobra or the tree pose.


So I tried The Sun Salutation poses, and oh boy, I can do them except the #3  pose. Imagine bending that way but they say it takes time once our body, muscles, and joints get used to it.


Love, love, love this pose!

I have a bad posture resulted from years of slouching and bad sleeping position. Some yoga poses will help me to straighten up my back. I really hope so!


This is another good thing about yoga. It also tells us how to treat our body by eating right and eating mindfully.


This book also has different healthy recipes from soup to cookies (the healthy ones!).

Yoga for first timers like me will feel a little bit of body soreness but it’s okay if in the end it will help us to live a healthy and a happy life!