Currently

img_5858I had rented Crazy Rich Asians and loved it. After doing some research I found that it is based on Kevin Kwan’s trilogy. I bought the first copy and read it in less than two days. It is different from the movie but I still loved it. I loved it so much that I bought the second book and that is what I am currently reading.

Currently Reading: China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

My goal is to read 36 books this year. It doesn’t sound like much but I have been so stressed with work that I decided that I need to make time read. It reduces stress for me and it forces my mind to think of something else but work. I want to be a better mom and wife this year. I’m willing to try anything to just leave work at work and be a happier person for my family!  I also want to blog more which I’ve said many times before. I really do enjoy writing about my family and things like books, food, and anything that crosses my mind.

Currently Watching: Meteor Garden meteor gardenI have been watching this Chinese drama and of course I love it because it is similar to Boys Over Flowers. I tend to not like any remakes of the Korean versions or just like the K-dramas better but I really do like this version. It is honestly making me want to re-watch Boys Over Flowers and compare. There is a new Korean drama on Hulu that I want to watch. It’s called The Legend of the Blue Sea and it stars Lee Min-ho who played Gu Jun-pyo in Boys Over Flowers.

Currently obsessing over: Triscuits in the balsamic vinegar and basil flavor.

These are so good! My kids love them too! I’m honestly quite shocked because they haven’t like any other flavor at all! I’ll have to buy like 3 packs next time.

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inspired by the Japanese and Korean

I came across this video late at night after the kids fell asleep. (I tend to watch grocery/meal plan videos because I like to see what moms cook for their families.) This video really inspired me to change the way I grocery shop.

The first thing I noticed is that they don’t have huge shopping carts like us. They tend to be small and they normally put a basket on top of the cart. (I’m sure there are stores with bigger shopping carts!) I feel like because of this they don’t do a huge shop.

The second thing I noticed is that they don’t buy as much as I do! I try to meal plan for the week and buy so much stuff that sometimes I don’t end up using it all. Sometimes I run of out of the fresh food and end up having to go back to restock. What ends up happening most of the time is that I don’t want to cook or eat what I had planned five days ago.

I notice that the Japanese buy what they need and in smaller quantities. I’m sure that this isn’t the case for everyone and I’m basing this from what I’ve gathered over the years. I’ve watched lots of Japanese/Korean home tours and grocery store videos. A lot of the kitchens are not as big as mine. (My kitchen isn’t big either but for an apartment it’s a pretty decent size.) I think this is also why they don’t buy as much food because there isn’t enough storage space. In the videos, I noticed that they always walk to their destination or take a train. They have to carry their groceries, so I think this is also another reason they don’t buy as much food as I do. I have to drive to get to the grocery store.

I decided to take notes from all the videos I’ve watched. (I’m also really happy people all over the world post what their side of the world is like!) The main thing I’ve learned is to buy less.

Less is more.

I really don’t need to buy so much stuff for a family of four. I honestly buy them so many snacks that they don’t want to eat real food anymore. I didn’t buy about 3/4 of their snacks and they are eating more fruit and veggies. They also hungry for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They were never bad eaters but I have noticed that sometimes they would rather eat applesauce instead of munching on apple.

My kids loved the Asian pear! I’ll definitely have to buy more for them!
I got them a few snacks because I really want them to eat more fresh fruits and veggies. Sometimes I would buy them fruit and it would go to waste because they would lean more towards the pantry snacks.
My kids ate the box of raspberries in one sitting! This makes me so proud!

We have plenty of meat at home so I just bought some bacon for breakfast. The kids have finished quite a bit of the fruit so I know that in 2/3 days I’ll have to go back and restock! Which is what I would end up doing anyways with a huge haul or sometimes I would wait out the 7 days but by then we wouldn’t have anymore fresh fruits and veggies. As a parent, you always want your family to eat fresh produce every single day of the week.

I’m also enjoying going to the grocery store. I love to take my time at the grocery stores but if I have a long list of things to get, I get overwhelmed. I really took my time in the produce section and looked for beautiful fruits. The apples are amazing and so are the berries. It’s so nice not to plan out a week and really be spontaneous about dinner!

Christmas 2018

Christmas this year was so much fun. It was so unplanned and very last minute but it’s definitely been one of my favorites!

^We ate our weight in cookies! I made so many batches of sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies!

^ Cas and his missing-teeth-smile!

^ I was trying to get a picture of my 19-month-old and that turned out to be impossible.

^ opening presents on Christmas Day

^ Sebas was more interested in drinking his milk than opening presents right away. 😂

^ Sebas finally liked the idea of opening presents!

^ I think it’s safe to say the kids loved their presents! Sebas loves his shopping cart! He will take the groceries out and put them back and then walk around the apartment with his shopping cart! Casti loves all his toys! He has loved playing on his ds, hot wheels track, puzzle, and play doh! The kids had a blast this Christmas!

^ Got this cute mug from my husband!

^ On Christmas Day we went to H-Mart because it was the only store available and we decided to eat Asian food for Christmas. My parents work Christmas Day and my in-laws do not celebrate Christmas anymore so normally Christmas is just us four. This year my sister-in-laws joined us and it was so much fun!

We ate dumplings, orange chicken, chow mein, panda snacks, and mochi ice cream!

It was so good!! We also had plum wine and sake to go along with our meal! This was such a fun Christmas! I love that it was so unexpected and we all just went with the flow!

And I was all worried that it wouldn’t a nice Christmas for the kids?! They had a blast and got to spend time with their fun aunts!

Working mom guilt

I have not been good about holidays or doing cute family activities since August 2018. I started teaching again… I teach high school Spanish and it doesn’t feel as stressful as my first year teaching but I’m still stressing. I think it’s just the way it is for teachers. Also, I have two kids so being a mom and a teacher can be really hard! I have a 19-month-old now and it is difficult to leave him. I have been feeling so guilty about leaving him and going back to work.

^He is adorable and a sweetheart, who wouldn’t feel bad? He also reminds me everyday about my oldest and how fast time goes by. You hear it all the time but until it happens, it doesn’t really register. Casti is in first grade now! I was fortunate to stay home with him for four years and I was also fortunate to stay home with Sebas for a year. Yet, I feel guilty.

Casti recently tore his chin open while playing during recess and that was rough. If I was staying home, I would still freak out but I would be two minutes away. He needed a couple of stitches and he is now doing awesome! I couldn’t help but feel bad because as a teacher you really just can’t leave your class unattended.

I’m not sure why I feel guilty because I am providing for my family! I am able to get them all these little things without thinking that I’ll break our budget. I think what I feel guilty about is time. There really is not enough time. I get home and they are cranky because they have a few hours until bedtime. Everyone says to value the time you have with them. I have to say that the time I have with them is not the best. When it is after 5pm, they are done! So I spend 5-8pm holding my breath and trying not to explode. I’m tired and they are tired. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies! The weekends are so much better but I’m trying to find a way to enjoy the weekdays. How can I value that time more?

Winter break is coming up and I am pretty excited about that. I get to cuddle with baby in the mornings. 😃 I am going to bake Christmas cookies with my oldest! I get to stay up late watching movies with my husband. When I say that I’m going to enjoy this winter break, I truly mean it!

I also want to make changes for 2019. I want to try planning meals for two weeks so that I don’t have to do such a huge grocery shop every single week. I also want to use the crockpot more so that I don’t stress out about dinner! I’m trying to think of ways to stress less at home. I’m also planning the first three weeks of school of 2019, which is already a headache but I’ll feel so much better if I start now. Lots of planning so that hopefully the mommy guilt wears down and I can enjoy being a working mom.

Last year’s Christmas part one

Last year’s Christmas was one of our favorites. It was pretty quiet but it was nice to spend it with my small family.

As I said before, I really went all out! I had Christmas activities for my oldest (the luxury of staying at home 😢) and put a lot of effort in creating traditions. We drank hot chocolate, made cookies, drew a ton of Christmas trees, and watched a lot of Christmas movies!

I’m hoping to recreate some of those memories again this year. Cas is already requesting a few of his favorites! He really wants to make gingerbread cookies again.

I took so many photos with my phone that I decided to divide into two posts.

the time it snowed in texas

Last year on December 8th of 2017, it snowed in Houston. It didn’t snow like it does in the northern states but to us it was a big deal! School and work were canceled for the day which is always great news right?!

I think this was one of my favorite Christmas memories. As I’ve mentioned before, we went all out for the holidays in 2017. (I’m sorry 2018!) It really felt like the holidays when we woke up to snow covered roofs, cars, and grass.

It was so cold and the snow really did feel like snow cones. My oldest loved it! It sometimes makes me wonder if we should move up north. How lucky must they be to experience all four of the seasons?!

Getting snow in Houston is a rare treat! We really loved it and I think that after Hurricane Harvey, it was a sweet change!

Fall 2017

Last fall I went all out for the holidays. I put up decorations, created activities for Casti to do, and participated in fall traditions. (Pumpkin spice everything…)

Since I started working again, I haven’t been as enthusiastic as last year. I’m hoping to change that the following year. Teaching really drains out my energy. In a way, I am posting everything I did last year so that it will inspire me to make every moment I have with my kids special. It’s something I promised to do and I have failed to accomplish. I am having some serious Mom guilt and I’m trying to fix it.

I tried to make our two bedroom apartment cozy and I really think I made that happen last year. Casti loves pumpkins and Halloween. I always try to make this time of year special for him! I always go to Target and get him a few arts and craft activities from the dollar spot. (Like painting a pumpkin or a Halloween coloring book.)

Below is a collection of pictures from Fall 2017.

Matching pjs!! Sebas was five months old.

I think the Teddy Bear Factory seriously has taken all of our money. Casti loves this place!
As I previously mentioned, I try to make this time of year special for Casti and soon Sebas will grow to love it as well.
This costume was the very first Halloween costume I bought Casti. I had Sebas wear it as well for his first Halloween. It brought back so many memories and I’m glad I kept it!

This is actually Casti wearing the costume when he was 9-months-old.
Casti as flash.
Last year’s thanksgiving. This is my mom with Sebas.