Tag Archives: Home

Reupholstering an Antique Chair

In the last couple of months I have been a stranger to blogging. I have retreated in to my own private world.

During my absence I have begun to fix our home with do it yourself projects.

My latest creation was completed recently. I reupholstered an American antique chair from the early 1900s. I repurposed hand woven ikat fabricate from the Philippines.

I then made an ottoman/step stool to match my newly created “masterpiece”.

20130513-074329.jpg

20130513-074345.jpg

20130513-074416.jpg

20130513-074450.jpg

In the next post I will show how my husband and I transformed one of our home’s vintage 1950’s bathroom to a cool and modern space.

A neat and uncluttered home makes our family happy! Till next time…

Advertisements

My Kids Say, “Mom You Are Mean!”–How a Parent’s Shield is Love

Lately my first born Massimo, my love, my sweetheart has been saying, “Mom you are mean!”.

massimosuperhero2

My baby Rocco, who is just learning to talk mimics him and I get a, “Mom you’re mean!”, from him too.

roccosuperhero

Kids don’t realize it but words can hurt, but since Massimo is only 5 and Rocco is 2 I am being extra patient. I know that Massimo is only testing his boundaries, and Rocco is being a parrot.

I remember when I was a kid, and into early adulthood, I use to give my parents a hard time. Sometimes in my head I was thinking they were being mean. What I am going through is normal behavioral development, and something that every parent goes through at one time or the other. It is just part of the parental territory as they say it!

I realize that I just have to take it with a grain of salt and humor.

A parent’s shield from their child’s harsh words is love. I love you Massimo and Rocco.

My new mantra aside from, “I choose happy now”, is “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”.

wondermomresized

I hope you have a wonderful day filled with happiness!

Massimo the Philosopher, Age 4, on Being a Father and then Going to Heaven

Massimo Taking a Moment to Think

Massimo is 4-1/2 years old.  Although he is young in age, some of the things he says are pretty profound.  Sometimes he can act out like a typical kid, and then other times something amazing comes out of his mouth.

As I mentioned on a previous post, my son Massimo has a way with words.

I think all kids have the ability of making us feel in awe and special.

Here is the latest Massimo conversation that left me thinking:

Massimo: Mom, when I am older I am going to have 4 kids.  They will be 4 boys.

Me/Mom: Really?  Are you sure?

Massimo:  I am sure I will have 4 boys.  I will let my 4 boys listen to any music they want and watch any television show they want to see.  If they want ice cream they can eat it any time.

Me/Mom: Okay, I’ll wait and see that.

Massimo: When my 4 boys are older I will die.  When I die I will go to you in heaven.  I love you Mom.

I don’t know why this simple conversation touches my heart.  It is the innocent way that a young kid sees life and then death.  It is the way my child conceptualizes his love for me.

What amazing things have your kids passed on to you lately?  I would love to hear your stories!  Have a wonderful day!

Massimo Sitting on a Canon at Mystic Seaport in CT

Happy Food Memory – Recreating Lola Da’s Beef Steak Filipino Recipe

Lola Da, Age 89 in her home in Ilocos

In the Philippines it is not uncommon to have house hold help. Lola Da was with our family for over 50 years so she was more like our family. We called her “Lola” which means Grandma in the Philippines. She was our cook and mayordoma (head of the household who oversaw the other staff).

In the beginning she started out as my Dad’s yaya (nanny to Filipinos). My Dad’s mom thought she was not going to make it through child-birth because the time frame was World War 2 and the pregnancy was rough. She asked Lola Da to treat my Dad like her own. Since Lola Da never married the role of 2nd mother was easy for her to fill.

When my Dad became too old for a nanny Lola Da became the cook and mayordoma. When we were little she also watched over my sister and I like a Grandmother.

Lola Da was sent by my Grandmother to study cooking in Hong Kong. She could make every dish imaginable from Filipino food to French to Italian cuisine, and more. She was also making fusion dishes before they became trendy. One dish I remember clearly was a duck a l’orange that she served with rice that was fried with fois gras pate. Eating in our house was such a joy and brings back such happy memories.

When I was growing up in the Philippines it was not the trend for us to learn how to cook. My Mom was an accomplished pianist and composer and her mother also kept her away from the kitchen. Unfortunately I did not learn how to make Lola Da’s dishes and the recipes and notes she left behind are scarce.

Now that I am older, and I have my own family in Connecticut, I often try to recreate the dishes that I remember. The dishes were “food memories” that often made me smile.

Today I am recreating Lola Da’s Beef Steak Filipino. It is best with steaming hot white rice. I hope you enjoy it! Buon Appetito! Sarap ng buhay!

Note: Remember that in Asian cuisine you can be flexible with the ingredients. If you like things more salty then add more soy sauce. If you like things sweeter then add more sugar. You like garlic? No problem add more!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs of steak (It can be low quality as you will use a mallet or rolling-pin to pound it)

2 tablespoons of vinegar

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1/3 teaspoon of black pepper

2 tablespoons of sugar

1/2 a cup of water

1 onion cut in half and sliced thinly

3-4 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 tablespoon of oil

What to do:

1. Cut your steak into little 3 inch pieces.

2. Pound your steak with a mallet or rolling-pin so it tenderizes. Some people pound it really thin to get maximum tenderness.

3. Get your pan and put the cooking oil. Heat until it is hot (where a splash of water will dance on the oil).

4. Put the garlic, onions and saute lightly for about 2 minutes.

5. Add the steak to the pan and brown the meat lightly

4. Add the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes. The longer you cook it the less sauce you will have. If you want it saucier just add more water.

My boys love this simple dish. If you have leftovers you will be very lucky as this dish is even better the day after as all the flavors really settle in.

Buono Appetito! Sarap ng buhay!

Happy Food Memory – Recreating Lola Da's Beef Steak Filipino Recipe

Lola Da, Age 89 in her home in Ilocos

In the Philippines it is not uncommon to have house hold help. Lola Da was with our family for over 50 years so she was more like our family. We called her “Lola” which means Grandma in the Philippines. She was our cook and mayordoma (head of the household who oversaw the other staff).

In the beginning she started out as my Dad’s yaya (nanny to Filipinos). My Dad’s mom thought she was not going to make it through child-birth because the time frame was World War 2 and the pregnancy was rough. She asked Lola Da to treat my Dad like her own. Since Lola Da never married the role of 2nd mother was easy for her to fill.

When my Dad became too old for a nanny Lola Da became the cook and mayordoma. When we were little she also watched over my sister and I like a Grandmother.

Lola Da was sent by my Grandmother to study cooking in Hong Kong. She could make every dish imaginable from Filipino food to French to Italian cuisine, and more. She was also making fusion dishes before they became trendy. One dish I remember clearly was a duck a l’orange that she served with rice that was fried with fois gras pate. Eating in our house was such a joy and brings back such happy memories.

When I was growing up in the Philippines it was not the trend for us to learn how to cook. My Mom was an accomplished pianist and composer and her mother also kept her away from the kitchen. Unfortunately I did not learn how to make Lola Da’s dishes and the recipes and notes she left behind are scarce.

Now that I am older, and I have my own family in Connecticut, I often try to recreate the dishes that I remember. The dishes were “food memories” that often made me smile.

Today I am recreating Lola Da’s Beef Steak Filipino. It is best with steaming hot white rice. I hope you enjoy it! Buon Appetito! Sarap ng buhay!

Note: Remember that in Asian cuisine you can be flexible with the ingredients. If you like things more salty then add more soy sauce. If you like things sweeter then add more sugar. You like garlic? No problem add more!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs of steak (It can be low quality as you will use a mallet or rolling-pin to pound it)

2 tablespoons of vinegar

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1/3 teaspoon of black pepper

2 tablespoons of sugar

1/2 a cup of water

1 onion cut in half and sliced thinly

3-4 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 tablespoon of oil

What to do:

1. Cut your steak into little 3 inch pieces.

2. Pound your steak with a mallet or rolling-pin so it tenderizes. Some people pound it really thin to get maximum tenderness.

3. Get your pan and put the cooking oil. Heat until it is hot (where a splash of water will dance on the oil).

4. Put the garlic, onions and saute lightly for about 2 minutes.

5. Add the steak to the pan and brown the meat lightly

4. Add the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes. The longer you cook it the less sauce you will have. If you want it saucier just add more water.

My boys love this simple dish. If you have leftovers you will be very lucky as this dish is even better the day after as all the flavors really settle in.

Buono Appetito! Sarap ng buhay!