Tuesday, November 29, 2011


They think they're rockstarZ...we encourage them ;D

This is a follow-up to last month's post: http://charmedandblessed.blogspot.com/2011/10/halloween-family-fun.html. My recommendation if you want to bring your small ones to this event next year to sign up for the earliest time slot and get there early (like we did) to avoid the crowds. 

Gavin walked around sporting his green balloon and sunglasses like a pro.

Gigi and her "pose"

Please, darling, don't break your back

Getting the hang of this trick or treat thing

Snack time


Money time

Daddy craft time while brother pulls sister's hair while mommy takes pic time

More crafting

Air guitaring, like mommy

Cheesin' it, like daddy

That's all folks.

Hasta la vista Fall.

We're ready for you Winter.

Bring it Baby!

Monday, November 28, 2011


I know a myriad of very efficient multi-taskers and I, without a shadow of a doubt, am not one of them.

For me, the less I tasks I juggle at one time, the more calm and content I feel. The more I attempt to do, the more frazzled and snappy I feel.

To give myself a little credit, I can multitask a tad bit. Like right now, while the kids nap, I make phone calls for work, run the dryer, and write. To me, that's multitasking enough because I find that I can be overstimulated very quickly.

At least I know what works for me: I need space and quiet to work efficiently. If these conditions are met, I more than usually produce stellar results. If they are not, I find myself in a crappy mood and the results are mediocre and half-ass. Who wants that?!

My dream one day is to get paid to write. I'm not quite sure in what kind of capacity but I just want to put that out there to the Universe because this is what my heart wants. Like running, when I write I feel the most free. Very capable. And I like myself the most when I am engaged in these two activities.

In the meantime, I will continue finding the moments during my day that make me smile and encourage me to keep chugging along, one-task-at-a-time =)

Here's to enjoying the ride!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Training week

8:23 am 11/16/11
Good morning all! This week I am in San Rafael at St. Vincent School for the Boys for training. I'm mobile blogging right now and class starts in 7 minutes. Will check back again later.

12:49 pm
Bringing lunch has been my saving grace this week because it allows me to eat quickly then do something else with my time. Yesterday I ran. Today I took a glorious nap that I really needed. I woke up rejuvenated, FB'd a bit, and now raring to go again. Hope your day is swell! Not really looking forward to the 2 hour commute home but I will cross that bridge (literally) when that time comes.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's all gravy, baby!

Millie's Loco Moco with Special Gravy, baby!

I stumbled upon a wonderfully rich, tasty, and full-bodied gravy when I made my homemade loco moco as pictured above. I promised friends I'd inbox them the recipe (my very own recipe, thank you) and I figured I'll blog about it, post on FB, and tag them instead. I think its better this way because: 1) I get to add content to my blog 2) I deliver on a promise...efficiently!

This is a multi-step recipe and that's why I think the flavors are just bursting in every corner of your mouth. So, if you really want to give this a try, plan for it, and let me know how your masterpiece turns out!

Here's to an early Happy Thanksgiving!


Stew meat (the cubed kind from Costco, this was I had on hand at the time so I used it)
Chicken stock (not chicken broth, stock is richer in flavor I think)
Kosher salt
Half and half
Balsamic vinegar
Soy sauce (any kind. I had high potency Filipino kind on hand so that's what I used. You use what you got!)
Brown sugar
Flour or cornstarch
White rice
Flat leaf parsley
4 cup Ziploc tupperware
Garlic powder
Ground pepper

Step 1: Marinate the meat, refrigerate it overnight to let the flavors soak in:

I used a 4 cup Ziploc tupperware to test out this recipe so my measurements will be based on this.

-Fill up the Ziploc container with about 2 cups of the cubed beef
-1 cup chicken stock
-squeeze half a lemon's juice in there
-splash of soy sauce (the mixture should be a medium-light brown. if it is a very dark brown color you've probably put too much soy sauce)
-1 tsp brown sugar
-mix everything really good!
-put on the lid and let your concoction marinate in the fridge

Step 2: Slowwww cookin' is best!

I used a crockpot to slow cook the beef on high for four hours.

-drop your beefy concoction in the crockpot
-put about 2 - 3 cups of chicken stock in the crockpot (it should cover the meat so that it does not become dry)
-this liquid will be the flavorlicious base for your gravy, baby!
-set the crockpot's timer to four hours on high

Step 3: Separate the beef and make the gravy

-once the beef is done, take the meat out of the crockpot and set it aside. let it cool completely.
-take the left over liquid and put that in a medium size saucepan
-(cook your white rice in your rice cooker now if you have one)
-bring the liquid to a boil in a medium saucepan
-add a splash of half and half
-add 1 tbsp of butter
-add 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
-add a sprinkle of garlic powder
-whisk in flour or cornstarch (I start w/ 1 tbsp of cornstarch in a cup put some cold water in it until it is slushy and whisk it in slowly until the gravy is to the consistency i like)
-sprinkles of ground pepper
-sprinkles of kosher salt
-i taste it. if it still needs a little flavor and color i add a tiny splash of table sauce (the non-concentrated kind)

Step 4: Slightly crunchify the beef and cook everything else now

-take the fully cubed beef and shred/cut it up length wise (don't cut the beef while its hot as you will allow heat to escape, leaving the beef dry and not as yummy)
-take a frying pan, add a little bit of Pam or oil of your choice, sprinkle garlic powder lightly over the beef, and slightly crunchify the mixture (not full on crunch so you get varied textures when you eat it)
-cook your eggs overeasy

Step 5: Plating, sharing, & eating

-Take a plate and put your cooked white rice first
-Take the slightly crunchified beef and put it over the rice
-Take your egg(s) and put that on top of the beef
-Drench everything with your gravy
-Garnish with parsley
-Take a pic of it, share it on FB and tag me :)
-Eat it!

Friday, November 11, 2011


"Joy is not in things, it is in us." -Benjamin Franklin

Wishing you a joyous and fun-filled weekend whatever it is you are doing!

To our country's past and current servicemen and women, a Happy Veterans Day to you!

To Gerald, happy 11th & 15 years to us!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Slice of heaven

I think it is important to do something that you love everyday.

By being fully present, even a night at home with loved ones is, in and of itself, a slice of heaven because you're all together :) =) ;)

As I write this post, the four of us are just chillin' at home. We baked some cookies, got into our pj's, turned the Christmas lights on, vegged on the couch, and now just winding down.

Speaking of paradise, here's a clip of Gigi & Niko at Keoki's Paradise, Kauai. One of these days I will blog about our vacay but for now, this video will have to do.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

To write, to run, to live!

Did I ever tell you that I love to write? This blog is a testament to this because it has been ONE FULL YEAR that I have been consistently blogging. Almost as long as I've started up running again.

I think writing and running go hand in hand because one activity is sedentary while the other is rigorous. Facebooking on the other hand is another activity I engage in. Why? Because I spend most of my day with a 1.5 year old and a 3.5 year old. I NEED contact with the outside world. Sometimes, actually, lots of times, I over-do it and lo-and behold so much precious time has passed! BOO. to me!

Becoming aware of this, I've been reciting this mantra to myself: "More Life, Less Facebook" and it has been working quite well for me. Don't get me wrong, I still FB but not as frequently and maniacally as I have been prone to. Now, I'll just write, lol ;D

Let's talk about the benefits: along with a jump in overall productivity, Gerald comes home to a well thought out, wholesome, and hearty dinner made from scratch. So good he says he wants to "bite me" lol! Yesterday, he said the meal I made was 1000% wonderful. He does not exaggerate about food because he knows good from his near pro-chef-status of a momma.

In closing, I read that to hone one's craft, you need to engage in the specified activity more than a couple of times a week. The more the better. To me that means to write and run more. I ran yesterday and the day before and today I did not. I'm frickin' poooooped. For real. So, going forward, I will Write more. Run more. Pray more. Workout more. Cook more. Bake more. Basically Live.... more :)

I hope you have a great evening. Gerald is about to fix us a couple drunken egg nogs and call it a night.

Here's the recipe:

1 shot Southern Comfort
1/2 cup Egg Nog
1/2 cup Milk to thin out the mixture
Stir well
Sprinkle some nut meg to top it off

TTYL (talk to you later.) Tomorrow. PROMISE!