My first year of blogging!

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Hello guys!

First let me thank you so much for reading this blog!

Happy birthday The Pinay Mom! Technically, I registered my domain name a year after yesterday but I didn’t start writing a day after of last year….and that’s today. So,I consider this will be the first year.

Can you believe it?This blog has been active that long and surprisingly I made it. My husband wished me luck when I told him about putting this blog in action. I started so many blogs but never wrote one post on each of them. I know it’s sad.

Before I used to be a person of very good at starting something but leave them unfinished. And I hate it! I decided to do this because I got tired telling myself day in,day out-after reading other blogs-that I,too, want to start one.

Looking for my domain name was pretty tough at first. I didn’t have any idea what else. And I don’t want to name it after mine (that is my first and last name) because,well…my name is not known for something like being an author and having a certain brand. And gladysstarkey.com seems pretty boring to me.

That’s why I thought something that really me.

And I came up with The Pinay Mom.

Why not?

I’m Pinay.Obviously. I thought putting The Filipina Mom but it’s pretty long name and future readers might have a hard time remembering and typing it and I think it’s taken too!

I married an American and we’re raising two girls. Giving you insights about how I deal with two cultures in our household is not a bad idea,I think.

I learned a lot of things in the world of blogging over the past year.

  • Write stuffs that passionate us.There are few topics that I won’t get tired posting-simplicity,cooking from scratch,saving money,cleaning and organizing. If something pops up in my mind and I want to write something about it,I post it
  • Write from the heart. You might think how I write is so simple or ordinary but that’s who I am. I wanted to write a post that I imagine myself saying this to you in person. I don’t aim to compete with my college English instructors in any way but I will reserve that when I decided to write my own book.
  • Blog often. I used to blog daily. Seven days a week. I didn’t mind at first but in the end I felt being unhappy because even my weekend time with myself and my family. Blog took part of my weekend. And I think blogging on weekdays is enough. And blogging should be fun and not felt obligated even on days you’re off.
  • Be visual.I learned how important it is to write a post with a picture in it. It makes every post alive and something to look at. Over time,I learned how to take better pictures and I still in the learning process.

blog 003I will recommend you to invest in good camera. I’m using Nikon D3100. I used to have digital camera but I’m enjoying my DSLR now. Although,you can still capture beautiful photos using the point-and-shoot camera but you will need to edit those photos. A lot of pictures I post here are unedited unless there’s a title in it. Try to download free editing software. I use Picasa 3 and it works great for me and the fact that it’s FREEEEE!!!!

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  •  Choose a simple theme. Some days I keep on looking for other themes but for now,I will keep this for a while. Also, keep your background in simplicity too! The colors really matter. I think white,blue or green or colors that will give your readers a break from all the distractions going on to your site.
  • Socialize. To tell you the truth,I’m pretty bad on this one.I only update my Facebook page and that’s not too often. After a looooooong time I just accessed my Pinterest and Twitter accounts. I’m terrible. But if you want to keep your blog growing,they say keep your social media accounts updated.
  • Join blog discussions/comments. I read tons of blogs every day. If there are times I don’t comment,it’s just because I have nothing to say. I don’t want to bombard others’ blogs on their each post just to be active on discussions and to gain exposure. But I see the advantage of being part of the comment section,some commenters are curious about you and your comment. And I get points on page view because of that.
  • Blog can be a source of income. I know few blogs that gain popularity and turn it to income generating websites. That’s good for them. In my case, I’m not ready for it. It will take a lot of time for me to monetize this blog. And the time I’m talking about is the one I don’t have enough. I can’t sit two hours uninterrupted blogging. Between work and motherhood is overwhelming for me. I know I spend a lot of hours blogging every day. From writing post to reading other blogs.Plus,taking pictures. I think,there are few reputable ways monetizing blogs but for now I’m not ready for that yet. I will consider it as a bonus if someday I’ll be making money by blogging but for now,I will keep focusing writing topics that I love and hopefully some people will find my blog and keep coming back reading it.

So far,I love blogging. Even I was told and and laughed at by someone because she thinks blogging is for “nerds”. But we’re not nerds and never in million years I will acknowledge that stereotype. We share thoughts,ideas and even our personal experiences that our readers enjoy.

Again,thank you so much for reading my blog.To all of you who comments and the lurkers. I can’t thank you enough. And I don’t care if we’re only very very few in numbers.

Numbers not really matter to me but your virtual existence after my every post is worthwhile. Without you, this blog is nothing. I’m still learning how to post interesting topics and wish you stay around…longer!

xoxo

Gladys

 

Saucy Skillet Steaks

blog 002I made this recipe last week. Or should I say new recipe on my cook book.

It was so delicious and I made my husband impressed. It’s just perfect that day because on the chilly weather and I’m not familiar how our grill works. Yikes!

blog 008I have no idea about this kind of recipe and never heard of it before. When it comes to steaks,I’m not broad what other menus I got. Mostly by grilling which my husband likes to do. I know it’s possible to cook steaks in skillet but I don’t have recipe on hand.

I grabbed free magazine (Taste of Home) at the library one day when we went there. I was so happy while flipping page by page,all the appetizing number of recipes listed on there.Pasta,salads,quesadillas,comfort foods,etc.

This 30-minute meal is so easy to prepare and make. Although,it took me longer than 30 minutes because I like my steak well-done.My husband can eat medium-rare but not me.

I also added mushrooms since I bought last week’s grocery shopping.

And steamed broccoli and carrots as a side and I made mashed potato.

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Saucy Skillet Steaks

Ingredients:

4 beef ribeye steaks (3/4″ thick and 8 oz. each)

1/4 cup butter

1 large onion,chopped

4 garlic cloves,minced

1/3 cup beef broth

2 tbsp Dijon mustard (Since I don’t have this brand,any brand will do)

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp minced fresh parsley

Mushrooms,sliced

Procedure:

  1. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. In batches,brown steaks on both sides,about 1/2 minutes.Remove from pan.
  2. In same skillet,heat butter over medium-high heat.Add onion;cook and stir until tender.Add garlic;cook 1 minutes longer.Add mushrooms until tender.Stir in broth.
  3. Return steaks to pan;cook 4 minutes.Brush tops with mustard;turn and cook 3-6 minutes longer or until steaks reach desired doneness (medium-rare,a thermometer should read 145 degrees F;medium,160 degrees;well-done, 170 degrees).
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste;sprinkle with parsley.

Things I want to do before I die

blog 012If there are “1,000  things to do before you die”. “A 1,000 places to see before you die”. I have a lot of things I want to do before I die.

Hello bucket list!

Many but I won’t have 1,000 list on here. You would be spending all day reading that list but first,I would be writing that list like forever. This list is mostly about material things but not stuffs. I’ll leave my first priorities unwritten because I know in my heart,I want to spend time with my family. And spending quality time with our girls is another priority.

Okay.What are the things I want to do in my life before I go?

Hopefully someday,I will cross out,if not all, but even some of it.I think they’re fun!

  1. I love to travel. I want to see different places and meet different people. I want to travel Europe first.
  2. I want to publish my own book.
  3. Watch a concert at Madison square garden of Eminem,Madonna or Janet Jackson.I like them all!
  4. To visit NYC and go to Central park,take a picture of Rockefeller Center and eventually see the Statue of Liberty.
  5. Go to Paris,London,Milan or NYC to watch models walk the runway with those gorgeous designer clothes.
  6. See the Hollywood sign. It looks interesting.
  7. Learn French.
  8. Go to Milan. I want to meet Kite and give me tour to the very nice place.
  9. Visit Ireland where my husband’s ancestors came from.
  10. Go cruise.
  11. To visit some African countries.
  12. To be a consistent home organizer. I’m really working hard on this one day by day.
  13. To talk to a friend of mine who’s in federal prison right after her release.I want to know how she survives,what she does to let the boring day pass by,how she keeps her sanity,how much fears she counts every morning she wakes up. I think to listen what she would say is so fascinating to me.
  14. Move to a smaller house. I’m so addicted watching documentaries about tiny houses.
  15. Travel twice a year in the Philippines to see my family. That’s cool,isn’t it?
  16. To have my sister come over and live with me. I’m more like a mother to her.
  17. To work for a company that operates worldwide and will give me chance to travel and visit its different regions and get some executive job even for short years. Just to experience the fun of it.
  18. I want my blog to become popular. I’m not talking about being on top of the top but getting more visitors and comments everyday will do.
  19. To attend BlogHer conference.
  20. To learn somersault. This is the one thing I’ve never learned growing up while my old friends do it like nothing. I’m so jealous!
  21. I want my husband be successful to his new endeavor.
  22. To give speech and inspire other moms out there who have the same financial situation and simple lifestyle we have.
  23. To be a good cake decorator.
  24. Learn how to cook Japanese.
  25. To have two weeks vacation in Belize.
  26. Tour the White House.
  27. To go to Pennsylvania and meet some Amish families.
  28. Dine at The French Laundry. When Laura blogged about it, my jaw dropped few minutes after I surfed the restaurant’s website. Holy smoke! The cheapest meal is $295! And the wine of bottle.I choose not to discuss the dollars will be talking about.
  29. Visit Amsterdam and visit Ann Frank house.
  30. To have beach house in Florida. I’m so in love with the weather down there.
  31. To go to Ellen Degeneres show. Although I don’t watch much TV but I think it’s nice to watch her live,I know it’ll be worth it,she’s funny anyway.
  32. To have at least $50K in our savings account.I could dream more amount but I’ll keep it on this figure.
  33. To meet Warren Buffet. He lives only an hour away from us. Yay to Omaha! I would ask him what’s the best advice he would give us,given the financial condition we have.I know an obvious answers coming from him but to hear his deep advice is what I’m shooting for.
  34. To visit my aunt in California. I’ve been here for over five years now,still I haven’t seen her (and the family)yet.
  35. To go to a stadium and watch Superbowl live. I would be crazy watching fans’ different reactions and the game itself too!
  36. To talk to CEO of companies I’ve worked for and working for. To talk to them how to treat their employees better.
  37. To see different currencies around the world. That would be soooooo interesting!
  38. To be a stay-at-home mom,blogger and author. Sigh here!
  39. To be debt-free! We have to be in this status first, financially speaking before I could do most of these crazy thoughts of mine. Heh.
  40. To keep our simple life.

There you go guys!

Some of my lists are downright over the top but that’s what I want to do before I die. As you can notice,I didn’t write owning something expensive except having a smaller house than ours (for cheaper mortgage payment and it’s easier to keep up with it). I’m not more on acquiring,Louis Vuitton bags,Rolex or designer shoes. I just want experiences to satisfy my curious imagination.

Have a fun Wednesday!