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My DIY Party Souvenirs.

My DIY Party Souvenirs.

Came home a bit late after posting the sequel 1.  As promised, here it is. This is kinda tutorial too i guess.

My Andy is one of the girls loving 1Direction‘s music, she asked me to buy a mug online to give away to her friends. I do not think it is practical for a slumber party which we planned, it’s costly so to speak. She gave me a puppy-face look and what a charm this kid’s trick can do to you to make you say “yes”. I do not want to disappoint my baby so mom decided to make our own. We bought 2 boxes of  plain white mugs on sale.With the help of fabric tape, glitters, printer, a skillful hand for cutting dad  , and my trustee mod podge; we now have our home-made 1D mug. Problem solved!

at the height of 1D craze.

We filled it in with Nail polish, nail file, and a star-shaped choco-mint soap.

This is a simple melt and pour technique , not the really serious one with glycerin and lye kinda thing, just literally melt and pour. I thought of this idea since i was making candles out of broken crayons of my two little boys now teens  before.

glass beads

How i love pink and black! this lace headbands are great give away too, you can make a more intricate one if you wish to  but this one will be fine.

 One of the souvenirs i personally adore was this face towel, just look at the color  and it will speak by itself. This is a no-brain er roll-tie-tuck-way. This is to be used after the girls had their facials. I’d like it to look extravagant and exciting to untie.

This one is for the girls to take home along with a picture of Andy and her friend. Hubby cut it out and actually made all these by himself. I remember the time back in Fujairah where we had an art and craft exhibition at the Nursery,  this is one of what i taught the kids to do; picture frame from cardboard . In this one, we purchased a gift wrapper disguised as a vintage page from a book. It has an acetate attached by a button fastener to hold the picture in place.

Another give away! I know they will be wide-eyed to see that they will be given something they do not really thought of using.  It was made from Sugar  as it says in the label ha-ha!  I mixed in olive oil, lemon and peppermint essential oils, then wrapped the cap with a sticker tied a ribbon and it’s done.

Ready to meet the girls?

Here are the after party photos.

The Mugs labeled by the girl’s name and their corresponding 1D fave.

The souvenir station

I do not know what time i finished with all of these but all i know is that, i am more excited than my daughter in making all these. Maybe because i did not have this kind of Birthday treat when i was  a kid or Is it because theme parties were not a fad at that time? or people never really thought that this is something fun to do? whatever it maybe, now i got the chance to experience what i hadn’t esp. the sleepover.   And I am sure it will be happier this time, because , It’s my daughter’s day and  I will see before my eyes how wonderful the time she is going have with her friends. An amazing experience she will treasure til she’s all grown up.

Paper and it’s varieties to decorate a Party. Prep days.

 

Doilies and crepe papers

Crepe paper flower pompoms

Paper and it’s varieties to decorate a Party. Prep days..

Ikea Star Designer …Dream comes real when you least expect it.

My Bachelor Bedroom Design vote/like on this link: http://ikeastardesigner.com/best.php?id=2 By Cecilia Lorenzo

After i finished my studies in Interior Design, i never got he chance to practice  Well, i did in my house., my kid’s room  as  i had to let it go to attend to my growing kids. We were in Fujairah back then and the job i mostly get were in Dubai, the distance makes it too impossible for me to grab.The one that i did recently was my friend’s  Game Room and later converted into a Dining Room. I have a collections of pictures of all the designs  I made in the past on our house though . We shifted a lot so i had more chance to re decorate.

Then hubby got a text message  about Ikea star designer competition a month ago. He keeps persuading me to join but not moved to do it so early on, but I’d like to really try . It was my dream every time i pass by their tiny showroom, i was like ”  I wish I can design one of it”. I even go there to just give therapy to my eyes of whats new, the settings and ideas.  Last few weeks, I was preoccupied by different sorts of things so did not take heed. I kept hearing it on radio every morning and finally I’ve decided to give it a go at the very, very late time.

I submitted my bedroom design on deadline. Believe me my computer was acting up that night and I was able to send it  4 mins. before midnight. I am not hoping for the win actually,  it requires voting. I know I’m the last one who submitted an entry so what’s the chance?. I am happy already, in all honesty just to get my design into their site. Maybe … just maybe it will turn out into something. I just wanted to show my work. I completely take my mind off it. And goodness gracious, i got a call last 24th  Sept  I Could not believe it. I’m over the moon that moment i was speaking to the  Store Manager of Ikea Dubai. The judges had chosen my bedroom. I’m so ecstatic. Like on the other line i sounded like cool and collected but on the other line,  i was jumping and screaming with no sound. Let me show you my entry , here it is:

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After waiting for 7 years, for this time to come, it’s here now!
 So the next thing i know, last Saturday, I was in Ikea Abu Dhabi  United Arab Emirates for the last challenge. and here is: link to vote/like
http://ikeastardesigner.com/best.php?id=2     by Cecilia Lorenzo   ( needing your votes guys..)

Kindly like/ vote for me on this link: http://ikeastardesigner.com/best.php?id=2 By: Cecilia Lorenzo

It is for a 30 yr old bachelor, and from there i came up with this. functional and most of all a calming invite, a sanctuary to relax or read a book after all day’s work. The chair is perfect on its own giving an almost not there look, which will not annoy the eye as it seems like it floats. I consider the space to have different zones according to activities. The work area, reading and of course for the snooze. The alien head reading light was inspired by my 13 yr old son who loves aliens, the wall clock with map was from their idea  a long time ago to make the world map their wall paper. And most of all The Manhattan, New York framed art on the wall, it was taken from my memory of my eldest son whose now 15, who keeps telling me when he was 2 yrs. old  that he will someday bring me to New York. The over all color scheme of the room is masculine but not boring. But this has no boundaries if a young gal prefer a color far from pink and not a fan of flowery stuff, then this should do it. Vibrant color but speaks tranquility.
I am  in need of votes now, i do not know why the other finalist is getting hundreds in a matter of minutes anyone knows how please feel very free to tell me . Here is the link for voting/likes.
http://ikeastardesigner.com/best.php?id=2   by Cecilia Lorenzo
I am hoping to gather votes from the readers and bloggers. Hoping to get your support to full blast my dream that now a reality. Thanks all in advance.

Cabbage wrap in coconut cream

dash of chili flakes gives it a subtle kick.

Guilty as pledged. It’s been quite a while having the time to nod hello to my blog. Spare me of my occasional laziness and I sure do not want to be mistaken by it, of not loving to write. I plan to give a highlight to my daughter’s birthday last July and here I am going to give you nothing about it but instead an entirely different genre from what i’m supposed to. Well, it’s no surprise after all , I’m used to myself being that way.

I’ll be sharing a recipe of  my mother and eventually being a favorite of my two boys while they were growing up and i need to mention my brother-In-law who fell in love with this dish the first time my mom cooked it for him.

The origin of this food came from Bicol where my Mother was born and raised.It’s a region in the Philippines where coconuts, taro leaves, and peppers are bountiful. Mama used to tell me so much about her childhood and the dishes she grew up cooking and eating. My grandfather is Chinese and my grandmother is Spanish (that’s why it’s perplexing for me when i was little on “how on earth my grannies communicate with each other?”. So i guess it’s the dialect) . Mama (how i call my mother) recalls having Peppers or Sili in Filipino, cooked in coconut cream. Most of their dishes are cooked in coconut milk or cream due to its abundance locally.
I learned to cook the dishes Mama has been serving us merely by just watching her doing it over and over again. I often see he her hang the taro leaves upside down to dry before cooking it, i did not even bother to ask why. But she told me that while cooking it i must refrain from stirring because it will become itchy. Yes you heard me right, Itchy in the tongue and throat when eaten. The coconut milk is then extracted from fresh grated coconut. The first extract is thicker (cream) and the second  is thinner of course.

When my family was in Fujairah i am very lucky to find yam leaves in the supermarket to cook “Pinangat” it’s taro leaves stuffed with either fish or meat and cooked in coco milk. I’m not a fish eater back then so Mama uses ground pork all the time. But she told me lately that she mixes in shredded smoked fish in it. I was Cheated!! good thing i did not notice it because it was so tasty.

Now that I’m here in Ruwais, being far away in the city of Abu Dhabi it’s rare oftentimes never can i find whole taro or yam leaves and certainly leaving me the yearning to cook it.

without further ado, here’s what i end up with using a replacement to the elusive Taro leaves.

> 1 head large cabbage (Holland cabbage is better)
> 2 whole cloves garlic
> 1 large onion
> shrimp (chopped) about a cup
> 1 large finely grated carrots (my version only to add more vege)
> 400g ground chicken and/or pork
>  3 tbsp sauteed shrimp paste ( fish sauce to season if not using shrimp paste)
>4 to 5 cups coconut cream (i use Maggie Coconut powder)
> ground  white or black pepper to taste
> chili flakes/ jalapeno peppers (use according to your liking of spicyness)
*** a cup young coconut meat shredded (optional) (Mama’s version)

Let’s do it:

Note: You must remember that it should have a balance in sweetness and saltiness. The carrots and young coconut meat is sweet and so the coconut cream. The  shrimp paste is salty. For those who is unsure on how to balance the use of ingredients, you may omit carrots or young coconut meat.

> mix all ingredients in a bowl except the coconut cream.

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>  add a dash of pepper
> disintegrate the whole cabbage and trim of f gently the hard stem to make them thin so it’s easy to roll

> fill the cabbage leaf a spoonful each or less depending on the size of the cabbage leaf
> Roll like you would in spring roll then arrange in pan folded side down.
> add the coconut cream and sprinkle the minced garlic.
> add in chili

** simmer covered to medium low heat for 25 mins in heavy bottom pan, or til the coconut cream is reduced. taste and season according to taste using fish sauce.

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*** Note: You may also use Pak Choy. Trim the stem and place it in the pan first before the rolled pakchoy.

Well , let me know if you tried it and how it goes for you. In the meantime, I have to cook for dinner again. I went back to the kitchen to find a squeaky clean pan.  “did I cook anything for Lunch?” ..   :D

Chicken cheese Franks and Mushroom

Chicken cheese Franks and Mushroom
It seems years had passed since my last post. I’ve been busy, super busy with a lot of things rushing ahead and caught me frozen. Yes, frozen! I’d chose to petrify myself and not do anything instead. I am actually browsing my Pinterest and stumble upon a food pic which really resembles the one I’m doing for so long now. What’s funny is that this morning i called a friend to ask about the dinner we’re going to prepare for the upcoming Youth for Christ Camp and i suggested if my old-time fool proofed dish is okay with her. Then this lovely popped out telling me I’m on the right track . The dish looks summery as the name suggests. I’m sure you too will love this.

Photo courtesy of http://www.skinnytaste.com. Visit this site for healthy and sumptuous dishes you’ll surely love. I adore her : D

I would definitely try this recipe this coming Saturday and leave her a comment on how it turned out. But for now, I’ll be sharing mine.. same concept in ala-slothful way.

You will need:
  • Chicken cheese Franks ( i often use this one) or sausage or Beef Franks
  • Chicken strips ( optional)
  • 1 big sweet onion (sliced in rings)
  • 1 can Mushroom pieces / fresh mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • sprinkle of sugar
  • 5 tbsp canola oil for frying (depending how much you will make)
  • pepper, paprika
How it’s done:

Not so complicated  ;D

 Slice the franks or sausage according to the size of your liking. pan fry the sausages/franks until you see a little browned edges. I usually like it that way.
(Put in the chicken strips first before the sausage /franks til the juices runs clear and strips are slightly browned. . Remember to season the chicken with salt and pepper)
Stir in the mushrooms and the onion rings. Pour in the oyster sauce and Worcestershire sauce and mix well to distribute the taste evenly. Season with paprika, sugar and pepper and you are done.

 

Originally, I came up with this dish one lazy breakfast morning for my little’ boys  (who are now teenagers) back in Fujairah, this has been a known mom-staple-dish for them. It never fail to see them eat  like crazy having this anytime of the day. Be it paired with bread or rice.
This is the very basic i guess and from here you can be very inventive. It can also be modified to harmonize with your liking and preference just like the photo above .. Have fun making this.  

 

 

Happy Carrot Zucchini Apple Bread

 

Lime Cream cheese Frosted

Happy Carrot Zucchini Apple Bread.

Happy Carrot Zucchini Apple Bread

Happy Carrot Zucchini Apple Bread

During school days my mind is working incessantly from the moment i open my eyes in the morning til late of what snack/lunch the kids will bring to school. My second eldest son hardly eat veggies and the luckiest fruit gotten a special entrance ID from his tongue is banana, after a few years he allowed apple too. (rarely). That is why i was astonished to hear him asked me to buy some oranges. Of course i did not waste a blink and darted away gladly. It’s already strange enough to make him like anything sour or citrusy, so if he was delirious when he said that, i don’t care this is a chance to grasp.

Due to desperation of a Mom who must win against her son on a  veggie and fruit war, I had to cheat him.

I already tried banana and oatmeal bread and was a success but I have to be more assertive than that. So I looked up the web, analyzed and compared different recipes, melding the banana bread inspiration I came up with this. I admit I had a lot in mind to throw into this recipe but i grappled myself to limit them into these: ( I gave it a name with a “happy” word , you’ll know why)

                                     Happy Carrot Zucchini Apple Bread

  • 2 c all-purpose flour 
  •  2 large zucchini
  •  handful of baby carrots (approx. 10-15) / 2 large carrots finely chopped or grated
  •  1  apple, cored and chopped coarsely
  •  1 egg
  • 1/3 c sugar ( used only 1/4 cup on my second time baking this)
  •  ¼ c honey
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
  •  2 tbsp vegetable/canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  •  1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground ginger (or 1 tsp ginger powder)

Directions:

Peel chop and core apple set aside. Grate zucchini, and carrots (on food processor or chopper). Place in a towel and squeeze out the excess water.  Combine the egg, vanilla, sugar, honey, **applesauce, oil ( I used canola Oil)  salt, grated fruits and veggies in a bowl. Stir in the flour, cinnamon, ginger and baking soda until well incorporated.

Grease pan with butter or cooking spray and dust with flour to prevent sticking. Scoop into muffin tins or loaf tin or 9x 13 baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

I’m checking once in a while, I added 5 more mins. in  a loaf tin while in 9×13 pan the baking time is exactly 25 mins. .

i added raisins, ( that’s why i cut the sugar due to raisins) chopped walnuts.

i pulled it out after 10 mins. in the oven, i forgot to mix in the raisins and nuts. Better late than never :D

** I made my own applesauce.

  •  Peeled and chopped 3 apples  then add  water enough to almost cover the apples.
  • Mash the apples then sprinkle a tbsp cinnamon.

* Frosting:

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese (about 7 small square blocks ) with powdered sugar adding a tbsp at a time til you get your desired consistency. I added lemon and lime zest to contrast the sweetness and add some tartness to it.

my sweet little trick to a veggie aloof kid.

You may omit the frosting if you wish to, already fabulous as it is.

  As soon as my son arrives home from school , he said  he finished all his food and he likes it. I told him it has vege and he just smiled.

I even brought it on my lunch date with my friends. I hope you’ll try it , tell me how it came out.

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