List #12

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Time to make a list again:

1.  Both kids enrolled – Finally!

2.  School supplies – We did our school supplies shopping yesterday and this is another item crossed off our list.

3.  Unexpected orders – I had an unexpected bread order last Wednesday.

4.  Unexpected blessings – We received some good news this week.

5.  Megamind – This was our movie pick of the week.

That’s it for now.  What’s in your list?

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Downtime

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Last night, Skype unexpectedly stopped working so I couldn’t conduct my lessons.  I suppose it would have worked after a couple of hours but I didn’t really want to keep on trouble shooting and waiting so I decided to cancel the rest of my lessons after 8 pm.

My children rejoiced with the decision.  We seldom have time time together at night since I work weeknights so last night was a treat.  We played UNO and scrabble while listening/watching to their favorite songs on You Tube.  They would have wanted to play Monopoly but I know one night is not enough for that.

I should really start treasuring these moments.  My kids are growing up and pretty soon, they’d have their own lives and wouldn’t have time to spend with us anymore.  Even now, they spend most of the day with the neighborhood kids and making plans with them.  I’m happy that currently, they’d rather play games with us than with friends but I know it won’t last.  Eventually, I guess we’ll be happy if they have dinner at home everyday.  But until that day comes, I’d continue to spend my downtime with the kids the best way I know how. 🙂

Debt Society

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I read an article by Michael Tan today about debt and society and it got me thinking about the role debt plays in our lives.

I hate having debt.  I was very happy when I finally paid off my credit card debt last year.  So now I only owe my mother and my sister and I’m hoping that they would both be paid off in five years.  My priority now is NOT to incur more debt and it’s really hard with two kids in school.

When I was growing up, I remember my mom would always have to borrow from GSIS or PAG-IBIG or from other sources every time May comes around.  Having five kids is really expensive and of course they want us to have the best education possible.  It’s not just for tuition, there are school supplies, books and other expenses associated with education.  If only the public school system is effective, more people would have more savings and a better quality of life, I’m sure.

I think paying for a good education is important and somehow justifies being in debt.  But I know some people who are in debt and they got there trying to keep up with the neighbors.  They have to have the latest gadgets, they take awesome vacations, their clothes and stuff have to be branded.  Debt due to this, I think, is definitely unacceptable.  They may have the latest iPad but if they can’t pay off more than the minimum on their credit cards, they’ll be enslaved forever.

I don’t like to judge but I just think that we should all try to live within our means.  This is what I’m trying to do now.  It’s really difficult but I’m happy to say that at least I didn’t have to borrow this year to get my children enrolled and buy all the stuff they need for school.  We may not have the budget to watch movies often but we can watch at home and still enjoy each other’s company.  We may not eat out very often but we try new dishes (and baked goods) at home.  We may not go to the mall or arcade very often but we have board game nights and stuff.

I guess, in the end, it all boils down to what we value, what our goals are, and what we’re willing to sacrifice to get there.

List #11

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Time to make a list again:

1.  Aliana’s gown – Thanks to my sister for lending Yumi a gown so she could attend her friend’s birthday party.

2.  How to Train Your Dragon – This was our movie pick this week.

3.  Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – Made this last Friday and was reminded of why I learned to love baking.

4.  Clean floors – Thanks to Jon for mopping and waxing the floor (and for fixing the switch.)

5.  SM Storyland – This was where the birthday party was held and both my kids enjoyed the party and I also had the opportunity to chat with one of the other parents.

That’s it for now.  What’s in you list?

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This is my favorite cookie of all time.  This was the reason I started baking in the first place.

It was actually Jon who baked but he baked very infrequently.  He made cookies and crinkles and truffles, even cheesecake.  The only cheesecakes I make are no-bake ones.

I finally asked him to teach me how to bake so I wouldn’t pester him and he finally relented.  He taught me everything, from turning on the oven, correct mixing technique and knowing when it’s cooked just right.  We didn’t have an oven at home when I was growing up so I never learned how to cook using an oven.  My only experience with an oven was in a home economics class in high school and that wasn’t really very comprehensive.

That was I guess 8 years ago, and as they say, the rest is history.  I actually think my Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are better than his now.  (Don’t tell him I said so!  =) )

Chocolate Chip Monkey Bread

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Last Friday, some former colleagues and I decided to have a get together at my place.  I think it’s been 2 years or more since we last had a party so it was a welcome affair.

One of them requested for oil and garlic pasta and we made that, or rather Jon made it.  We usually serve it with hungarian sausage but unfortunately we didn’t have any and I didn’t have time (aka am too lazy) to go out and buy some.  We did have some sardines so we used that instead.

Of course, since I’m on a bread baking mission, I had to bake some bread.  I just didn’t know what to make.  Jon suggested Chocolate Chip Monkey Bread.  I’ve never eaten monkey bread although I have seen some pictures online.  I searched for recipes but I only saw some with cinnamon and usually prepared/frozen dough.  So he searched for the recipe and found it in a really old issue of Chocolatier magazine.

Monkey Bread is usually prepared in a tube pan which we don’t have so I just used 2 loaf pans instead.

And this was the table before my friends arrived:

Anyway, I wanted to take a picture of pieces of the loaf to show how it looked inside but our kids brought the left-over bread to the neighbors when they went there to play last night.  So, no more bread to take pictures off.

My kids really like the bread, eating it for breakfast and snacks yesterday.  I liked this bread too since it was soft, tasty and a treat.  Next time though, I’ll mix some chocolate chips in the dough itself.  The original recipe just had me roll the balls of dough into melted butter then into the chocolate chips.  So there wasn’t much excitement eating the inside of the loaf, everybody wanted to eat the outside parts, hahaha.

I’ll definitely make this again and next time, it would be better. =)

List #10

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Time to make a list again:

1.  Get-together – Had a small get together at home with colleagues from my last job.  It was great catching up (not to mention the good food and drinks 🙂 )

2.  Chocolate Chip Monkey Bread – According to my kids, I should only make this kind of bread.

3.  SaveMore – I’m glad to have a small grocery store that’s walking distance.

4.  Mango Margarita – Mako’s creation is really good.

5.  Good health – We really shouldn’t take this for granted.  It’s good that my uncle’s out of the hospital and my mom’s feet are no longer swollen.

That’s it for now.  What’s in your list?

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