Today, I celebrate 10 years since the first time I set foot in the United States.

I only remember bits and pieces of the journey that led me here. It was pretty straightforward. The plane from Manila took a stop at Narita Airport. I dragged my bony 20-year old self to the smoker’s lounge and puffed away with fellow travelers. After waiting a bit, I hopped on the second leg of plane rides that landed me in rainy Sea-Tac for a connecting flight to cow-town Fresno.

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Callum’s Birth Story (Part 2 of 2)

Oh, it was all a blur alright.

Oh, it was all a blur alright.

As mentioned during the previous post,  the second half of Callum’s birth story was written by our doula, Sarah Vine. When she visited us a couple of days after the birth, she sat us down in our living room and read us her version of the last leg of our labor. We were amazed at how much we have forgotten that day. There were definitely a lot of laughs in the process further proving that I had an awesome support system. We could not have done it without her. Well, let me rephrase that. Having her as our advocate definitely made the birthing experience a LOT easier.

Here it is… the final 12 hours through the eyes of our doula: (with some of my reactions in parentheses and italics)

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Callum’s Birth Story (Part 1 of 2)

33 hours of labor produced this perfect pair of feet.

33 hours of labor produced this perfect pair of feet.

I have been meaning to share my birth story. With the roller coaster of emotions that came with the birth of Callum, I wanted to commemorate the event with a detailed post of everything that happened hours before he came into our lives. It has been in the back burner for a while now, so I just decided to hunker down and type away.

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October Challenge: Cook the Pantry


Our Pantry.

Z and I do a monthly sit down to discuss our finances and one of the biggest expenses that we have continuously identified is eating out. We aren’t really big fans of microwaved dinners (trying to cut down on eating processed food) and meal planning/prepping/cleanup is just such a huge burden, so we take the lazy route and do takeout instead. It’s not the most economical and earth-conscious decision (hello, where will all those containers go?) so, something has to change and I thought of cooking the pantry.

Cooking the pantry is basically making meals using with the majority of the ingredients already coming from the pantry/fridge. If you are like me, there are items in your pantry that after one use, never see the light of day. Every year, I do a pantry cleanup and I end up throwing out half full, barely used items in the trash because they are either expired or some organism has decided to grow in them. It’s gross and I feel so much guilt from the money I just wasted and the space that item is going to take up in some landfill.

The goal is to cut down on our grocery and dining out bill by preparing all “cleanse unfriendly” meals out of the pantry until the end of the month (starting November, our bi-annual 21 day cleanse will begin) so wish me luck. To clarify, I will be making meals with the majority of the ingredients coming from our pantry/fridge. I will still stop by the store once in a while to purchase perishable items that I need to complete the meal. And if you’re thinking that it’s a waste of gas, you are mistaken – the store is like a 15 minute walk from my house. It’s definitely a good excuse to get out and stretch out ye old legs.

It’s going to be a lot of work and I will be posting progress in this blog for accountability. Totally crossing our fingers for this to succeed – our budget depends on it.

This is what happens when you don’t check your pantry on a regular basis. You’re stuck with five kinds of mustard. I know that mustard is a versatile condiment, but seriously, five is just way too much.

From Scratch: Clean Eating Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Soup

Soup’s On!

Another clean eating recipe, this one loosely based from The Gracious Pantry. A soup to warm your tummy with the chilly fall nights. I wanted to replicate it as is, but I definitely went on slacker mode and some of the organic ingredients went bad (the joys of organic ingredients, friends). With this recipe, I also took into consideration some leftover ingredients that were sitting in my fridge from a previous meal because seriously, what do you do with that other onion half? One of these days, I will try to do the Gracious Pantry’s version, but for now, my version would do. The soup turned out really well and I am looking forward to having it for lunch tomorrow.

It took a while to cook. I was popping in and out of the dining room to watch parts of The Walking Dead. So total prep time is about 1 hour and total cook time is probably around 20 minutes. This recipe yielded about 8-10 cups.

Ingredients and Instructions after the Jump!

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From Scratch: Paella

My First Attempt at Paella

This recipe was adapted from The Best of Clean Eating as part of our continuing effort to eat healthier as a couple. I was really excited to make it since it was my first time. I understand, it’s not the original single-protein paella. I have adjusted the recipe with the actual ingredients that I bought from the store and I took some liberties by adding shrimp.* Took a spoonful once it was done and it tasted awesome. No need to add salt as the salt will be coming from the broth, sausage and shrimp. Don’t forget to read instructions before heading out the door to shop for ingredients. 🙂 Based on the pot above, Z and I will have lunch for the next two days.

Ingredients and Instructions after the Jump! Continue reading