Showing posts from July, 2013

Wordless Wednesday


Comfort Food: Filipino Maruya

Last week, my boys attended "Filipino Immersion Camp" for two days at our church. My kids, third-generation Filipino-Americans, learn little about where their grandparents came from. The stories and cultural traditions their grandparents share are the only connection my boys have to their cultural background. Upon hearing about the "Filipino Immersion Camp", I thought it to be a great experience for my boys to learn more about their culture.

For two days they learned Filipino folk songs and dances, crafts, traditions, the arts, and so much more. At the end of day two, they were super excited to have me cook "maruya" that they learned how to cook. 
Maruya is often eaten as "merienda" in the Philippines. Merienda can be compared to 'afternoon tea', a light meal between lunch and dinner, often shared with others over conversation. 
Here are my boys explaining the process of making maruya:

Recipe: 1 cup pancake mix prepared as directed (or on…

Quick and easy dinner: Chicken Satay Sliders

Tonight's Dinner: Chicken Satay Sliders
Chicken slider patties, hawaiian bread dinner rolls, broccoli slaw mix, Thai peanut sauce, grilled onions, sliced tomatoes- all ingredients from Fresh and Easy!

What did you have for dinner tonight?

Throwback Thursday: Boozie Cakes Cupcake Wars

A few years ago, my co-workers had completed an application for my friend Joyce and I to be entered into Food Network's "Cupcake Wars". At that time, we had a small cupcake catering business, Boozie Cakes, that was popular with our friends and family. Months went by without a response from Cupcake Wars
One afternoon, I received a phone call from one of the casting directors from the show. He asked lots of questions about how we got started, why were were different, and why we wanted to be one the show. The then said, "OK! We like you! Ready for the next step?". I jsut about fell out of my seat! The rest of our conversation dealt with specifics on an audition video that was due in two days. 
As soon as I got off the phone, I called Joyce to share the news. She screamed so loud into the phone, I heard ringing in my ear. We quickly came up with a game plan. Find someone to take video of us and find a comercial kitchen to film in. Thanks to the cafeteria supervisor…

Wordless Wednesday


The Comic Con 2013 Experience: A Recap

Guest Post by Mikey Cruz @mikeycruzThere were major surprises in this year's Comic Con than in previous years.  With those surprises, Comic Con 2013 will be another fantastic event to remember!The main surprise was that the freebies were at an all-time low this year! In the past, the exhibit hall of the convention center used to be full of long lines of people waiting to get their pop culture themed swag including reusable bags, buttons, sharpies, mugs, pins, posters, post cards, etc.The lines of hysterical grabby hands has caused major fire hazards during the conventions in the past, so to counteract this problem the networks have invested in the "Walk Through Experience," most of which were outside the convention center and free to the public. Rather than cater to only those who purchased attendee badges, companies like Summit Entertainment joined HGTV to promote their upcoming film with an exclusive Ender's Game fan experience. Visitors are given a tour of the set…

My Ultimate Comic Con Experience #trueblood #savethevamps

Each year, the International Comic Con comes to my hometown of San Diego. On the news and online, the entire world sees numerous celebrities at Comic Con promoting their latest projects. 
Each year I've dreamed of meeting the casts of HBO's True Blood. I've tried to figure out where they were making appearances or where the "True Blood Party" would take place in San Diego. Each year it was a big fail. 

This year for Comic Con, my hubby and I decided to walk around the outside area of Comic Con to check out the festivities. In the back of my mind I was thinking, "Wow, it would be great the meet the True Blood cast this year..." With no specific plan, my hubby and I walked around, scored a few freebies and enjoyed some of the events including Disney Infinity Interactive, the Fandango Lobby, and CNET Base Station
As we were walking around the displays along the bay, I noticed a huge yacht with a "TV Guide" banner hanging on the side. There a f…

Food Friday: Mr. Dumpling Restaurant

Mr.Dumpling Restaurant is one of our favorite spots on Convoy Avenue in San Diego. They specialize in different kinds of Chinese dumplings, soups, noodles, and hot pots. Some tables are built with a burner in the middle for the hot pot orders.
The dishes we tried tonight are pictured here.

On the top are roasted duck with steamed buns. The buns, duck, veggies, and sauce are all served seperately, and you put it together like a taco.
The middle pictures are a savory beef pancake which are my favorites!  The pancake is filled with beef and veggies, then rolled up lile a wrap. I like to dip the pancake in a little bit of soy sauce and Sriracha.
The bottom left are appetizers of seaweed and pickled cucumber. I'm not a big fan of the seaweed, but the cucumber I love! I ate all of it and usually make it at home as well!
The bottom right picture is the shrimp and beef wonton soup which is hubby's favorite! The soup is served a shredded.seaweed in the broth. The flavor of the soup is…

Comic Con International 2013 - Top 10 Tips for Attendees #SDCC

Guest Post: by Mikey Cruz

It's that time of year again where fans of every genre under the sun and from every continent flock to San Diego to enjoy a little bit of Hollywood and more! 
I've been an attendee for years now and to make the Comic-Con experience as positive and rewarding as possible, I offer these top ten tips (in nor particular order):

10) Understand that people from all over the world are traveling to this epic event. They spend tons of money on flight, hotel, food, and souvenirs (which is great for San Diego's economy!) all to see their favorite celebrity, find that exclusive collectible, or meet others with similar interests (tv, film, comics, anime, anything pop culture). Being friendly and positive to our visiting tourists goes a long way. So help them out whenever possible.

9) Comic-Con is an event that will be incredibly crowded. So patience and flexibility are virtues. I try to plan events or meet celebrities that I'd like to meet in advance. The Co…

Helping Your Student Gain Admissions to a University of California School

In my role as a high school counselor, my goal is to best prepare my students for 4-year university admissions and success. With proper course placement and intervention programs, my team of counselors provide the support students need to be competitive in the admissions process. 
As early as the 9th grade year, parents have lots of questions of how to best prepare their children for college admissions. It is never to early to prepare. The admissions process begins the first day of 9th grade. 
The admissions process is not only grades, courses, and SAT/ACT scores. Most University of California campuses use a holistic review process: applicants are assessed in terms of the full range of their academic and personal achievements, viewed in the context of the opportunities and challenges each has encountered.
As a high school counselor, I encourage my students to not only excel academically, but also take into consideration the 14 points below to be competitive for admissions to any Univers…

Looking for #cronuts in #sandiego? #instablog

via Instagram

How to Draw on a Smartphone, via my 5 year old

I came across these drawings as I was flipping through some of the apps on my phone. A phone comes with so many apps, half of which I'll never use!
I didn't know my 5 year old son, Jelo, had been drawing pictures on my S Memo app on my Samsung Galaxy S III. I didn't even know of the app, or the drawing function at that!
My son had always loved technology and easily understands how to use computers, tablets, and phones. He loves to watch Google and Windows tutorial videos on YouTube and even Vlogs every once in-awhile.

 He loves to play with Google Drive and Google Calendar creating pretend notes, essays, and schedules. 

 He's recently learned how to use Instagram and is having fun taking videos and pictures of his brother playing. Everything Jelo does online is closely monitored by my hubby or me. He's never on the computer alone. He's always in the company of either my hubby or me. 
I have a previous blog post about an "oops" my son had while playin…

Food Friday: Nolbu

For years now, Garcia Family and some of our college Fridays get together on Friday nights for dinner. We try to eat somewhere new each time.

Thanks to the awesome pictures and reviews on Yelp, we tried Nolbu last night, a Korean restaurant in the popular strip of Asian eateries on Convoy Avenue.

The intimate little restaurant is a great date spot with booths that can be separated by curtains. There is a small bar on the inside which makes it a cool place to hang out with friends also.

Thanks to my in-laws, we were able to have dinner without our two little noise makers. This restaurant doesn't offer a kids menu so this is my indicator that they are not kid friendly, which is ok. Some restaurants have to be enjoyed without little kids around, this is the case here.

Here is the yummy that filled my tummy, clockwise:
Chicken wings with a sweet and spicy glaze, Beef Bulgogi which is marinated strips of beef- not spicy and a bit sweet, Kimchi pancake is a savory pancake with bits of …

Week Three and Four: #100milesummer

The last two weeks since my last post about my 100 Mile Summer progress I've been using my Fitbit Flex religiously. In the past I've used my Samsung Galaxy and the RunKeeper app to track my miles only when I'm actively exercising. With my Fitbit Flex, not only does it track my miles when I'm exercising, but also as I'm doing my daily routine.

The little lights on my Fitbit Flex wrist band tell me how much of my daily goal of 5 miles I've reached which is motivation for me to park a little further, chase my kids around a little bit more as they play outside, and engage in more activities that get me walking.

My total miles so far for the 100 Mile Summer Challenge is:
Week One: June 21 to 27  =  7.78 miles
Week Two: June 28 to July 4 = 18.96 miles
Week Three: July 5 to July 11 = 21.44 miles
Total: 48.18 miles


This past week, I've also started the The Omni Diet. I've read the book, The Omni Diet, by Tana Amen, and thought I'd give it a try. If …

Hump Day Fun at Disneyland

With two more days left of my summer vacation from work, our family spent today at Disneyland!Disneyland is Garcia Family's "happiest place on earth". We love it there! Thank goodness for our annual passes, we're able to visit a few times a year!Our highlights today:*"DJ's Dance N' Drive" show at Carsland. Our DJ is a big fan of "Cars" and he loves the character "DJ".
Here's a video:*"Radiator Springs Racers" was a first for us today! So much fun!*Visit with Mickey Mouse on the set of "Steamboat Willie"*Cool sounds of the All American College Band. Check them out here: are you spending the rest of your summer?

Backyard Camping

Ever since we had kids, my husband has been wanting to do a family camping trip. I was never fond of the idea. I've never been on a real camping trip before out in the woods with a tent, campfire, and the whole bit. I'm more of a glam-ping kind of girl: glamorous camping where we stay in a hotel in (or near) the woods and enjoy nature from the outdoor lounge area near the pool.

A family friend with kids of their own asked if they could come over and do a backyard campout. Their son has never been camping either so we figured a backyard campout would be a nice "trial" to see if the boys would like it.

The daddies set up two tents and the boys enjoyed filling their tents with their pillows and blankets. My kids can't do without their iPads so of course those were placed in the tents too! We had to explain in "real camping" there is no Wi-Fi and no plugs to recharge. I'm not quite sure they understood.

Grilled hotdogs and s'mores were on the menu.