Planning My Weekly Menu

As a newlywed, my cooking skills were close to non-existent. At our home in Bulacan, it was my mother who is the queen of the kitchen. I also think I eat so little then. No wonder I was way thinner back then.

Now that being a homemaker is my full-time career, I have no choice but to plan meals and cook. We are raising a toddler whose appetite seems to grow by the day.

I can cook. Just give me a recipe and I would do it. We lived on sandwiches and salad back in Cebu. But that can't happen now as I have to plan my menu around our little boy, too. Our meals need to be kid-friendly. 

I plan our menus but I don't have several meals plan to rotate. I have favorite dishes and I discover new ones from browsing blogs and Pinterest.

Our dishes for the week should be based on these categories:

  • Beef
  • Fish/Seafood
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Pasta
  • Soup
  • Sandwich

I try my best to incorporate and "conceal" as much vegetables into a dish. I also like using the slow cooker so one dish must be a slow cooker version.

I collect recipes throughout the week. I have gone paperless now and keep all my recipes in a folder in Pages. Their recipe template includes an image so I always put a photo of the dish so I know what the outcome should look like. 

I pick out the 7 dishes for one week. By Saturday, I would have finished my grocery list. 

Since Filipino dishes are not widely available here, I found that I am cooking more and more of it. A big thanks to Ang Sarap blog for all the easy-to-follow recipes.

Our three favorites:

Pancit Molo

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Skinless Longaniza

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Pinoy Spaghetti

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Another blog where I get my recipes from is Gina's Skinny Recipes. It's a low fat version of most dishes. In our recent annual medical exam Jed and I were warned to watch what we eat or our blood levels would be in danger. Now, it's hello healthy low fat recipes. 

I am loving these recipes:

Asparagus and Poached Eggs Over Pasta

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Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce

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Quick Skillet Steak with Onions and Mushrooms

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For recipe ideas, chekc out my Food board on Pinterest. I have over 280 recipes pinned.

How does your menu planning work? And what are your favorite recipes?

Happy cooking!

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The Proverbs 31 Woman: One Virtue At A Time (E-Book)

The first book I finished for this new year is the free e-book, The Proverbs 31 Woman: One Virtue At A Time. The recommendation was to read one chapter a day. But I could not wait, I finished it in one day. It is an easy read at 43 pages.
The author Courtney is from Women Living Well Ministries. I found her excellent blog while blog hopping and I immediately added hers to my RSS reader.  What led me to her blog was the free e-book and the topic of Proverbs 31. 

I will never be tired of studying Proverbs 31:10-31. I have stated many times how I aspire to be one. Yes, that woman which Solomon wrote in Proverbs is not just a pigment of his imagination.

How exactly can women relate the verses to one's daily life as wife, mother and homemaker? According to Courtney, we can all be a Proverbs 31 woman if we:

  • Are a treasure to our husbands (v. 10)
  • Trusted by our husband in all aspects (v. 11)
  • Act - not just words and promises (v. 12)
  • Work with eager hands even with the mundane tasks (v. 13)
  • Find the best deals for the family and stretches the family budget (v. 14)
  • Rise up early and make sure the house is up and running (v. 15)
  • Make our her dreams happen (v. 16)
  • Keep our house clean and strong enough to do chores (v. 17)
  • Stay productive until evening (v. 18)
  • Works on mundane tasks or house chores without complaining (v. 19)
  • Help those in need (v. 20)
  • Prepare our families for each season in our lives (v. 21)
  • Dress with class (v. 22)
  • Support and speak highly of our husbands (v. 23)
  • Strive to excel in our craft (v. 24)
  • Exude confidence (v. 25)
  • Speak wise and kind words (v. 26)
  • Manage our household effectively (v. 27)
  • Make our family proud of us (v. 28)
  • Hear praises from the one person who matters most to us - our husbands (v. 29)
  • Value our faith more than superficial beauty (v. 30)
  • Have a happy family (v. 31)

I hope you are as enlightened and refreshed as me. Now, every time I have to tackle a house chore I least like, I think about the Proverbs 31 woman and I stop complaining and do the task willingly. When I am tempted to be idle, I remind myself there is more I could do. 

The Proverbs 31 Woman just raised the profile of stay-at-home wives and mothers. We all can become so much more than society is depicting us to be. 

If you want to read the e-book, you can get it for free by "liking" the Women Living Well page on Facebook. Click on the Free E-book button right below her photo. 

I had been blessed with this book and I want more women to be blessed as well.

Enjoy reading!

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"It's More Fun in the Philippines"

Do you know that in 2050, 
"The Philippines will leap frog 27 places to become the world's 16th largest economy."
- from CNN Business Blogs "World's Top Economies in 2050 Will Be...."

Definitely time to be back home by then. Who would've thought Javi's future may be brighter in his home country?

I have said it over and over -- I love my country, the Philippines. No matter where in the world I am, I am proud to be Filipino. Given the choice, I would not have left. But as you all know being a wife trumps being a Filipino. 

I will keep my citizenship for as long as I can. Until death, perhaps? It is a part of who I am. I want it to stay that way.

A few and a half weeks ago, the Department of Tourism launched its new tourism campaign. Wow Philippines had been great and served the country well, however, times have changed and we need to be more competitive thus the new logo and campaign. The current DOT Secretary Mon Jimenez worked with advertising agency BBDO Guerrero launched the new slogans and logos:



It's simple and true. If someone asks why visit the Philippines, you now have an answer.

"It's more fun in the Philippines!"

 What is more fun? "Well, whatever you can think of? Eating. Shopping. Hanging out in the beach."

Why is it more fun? "It's because of the people - the Filipinos!"

The response to the campaign was amazing. Filipinos all over the world came up with their own versions. Some excellent, others were brilliant, a few were witty and there were those "what-were-they-thinking" versions.

My favorites are:

The best pig in the world!

Breathtaking scenery

My favorite breakfast ever

The perfect cone

The whitest and finest sand
There are no words to describe this one.

For an almost complete gallery of memes created, please check out their Pinterest board.

Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet came up with the complete information how each of us can help the campaign. Every Filipino can be ambassadors. Check out his entry here.

It's definitely more fun in the Philippines. I miss home every single day.

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My Vision Board for 2012

Since I am a visual person I decided to create a vision board for 2012.

From left to right:

Row 1
Pray MORE this year
Angkor Wat, Cambodia - the one destination I want to go
On my wishlist: Tory Burch Reva in Fresh Tan

Row 2
Learn to poach an egg
My one word for 2012: FORGIVENESS. Learn to forgive and to ask for forgiveness
On my wish list and to learn: Adobe Illustrator

Row 3
I commit to live a healthier lifestyle
On my wish list: a nice watch for Jed and myself
Finish The Purple Book

What do you hope to do/go/own/learn/commit this 2012?

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Hello 2012!

I love New Year's. It's a chance to start over.

Resolutions? No. Never worked for me.

Goals. Yes, I did set goals. I met 11 out of 12. Guess what did not work for me? (Hint: I now regularly go to Browhaus at Siam Discovery.)

Yesterday, the genius who is Seth Godin said this:

You don't need a new plan for next year. You need a commitment.

It's like he was speaking directly to me.

Okay, I get it, Seth. No more new plans. I actually need to COMMIT first. Commit to the resolutions, goals, and plans I made years ago. Some of them failed, others are still in the process, and some needs continuance so I will be a better person than the previous year. 

In one of my reading time, I discovered this manifesto from Aileen's blog, Creating Clever. She pretty much laid out what I'd like to pursue this 2012.

The Aileen Manifesto

Don't you agree that what's written in the manifesto is a great way to live 2012?

It's a brand new year, what will you commit to doing this year?

May all of us have an amazing year!
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