Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lent 2012

Today, 22 February 2012, is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday marks the
start of the Catholic Lenten Season. Lent is a beautiful season; 40 days of
prayer and sacrifices, all leading up to glorious Easter.

If you're searching for things to do in observance of Lent, here are some
suggestions for you to consider:

1. 101 Practical Ideas for Life by One Catholic Life
- Practical suggestions on simple yet meaningful sacrifices for Lent
2. 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting by Bo Sanchez
- A how to on Prayer and Fasting
3. Ignatian Prayer Adventure by Loyola Press
- A daily reflection guide that runs for 8weeks
4. Lunchtime Examen by Loyola Press
- A 6 section prayer guide
5. 9 Ways to Prepare Your Family for Lent by Tina Santiago-Rodriguez
(Smart Parenting Philippines)
- Practical suggestions for celebrating Lent as a Family

I look forward to changes in the church calendar as I do believe the different
celebrations serve as opportunities for us to further deepen our relationship
with God. May you have a grace filled season of Lent!

Photo Credit

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Homemade Al Fresco Breakfast

I was in the mood for a really nice breakfast. The type that came along with an
overnight stay or so in some picturesque locale. Ahhh... The real thing will have
to wait... This went pretty well too.

Vegetarian Open Face: Tomato, Alfalfa Sprouts and Blue Cheese on Rye

Fruit Platter: Orange, Kiwi and Grape

Friday, February 17, 2012

Easy Tomato Soup

Some days I'm inspired to cook. On those days, you'll find me browsing
through my favorite sites, looking for something new to whip up for the
family. On other days... Well, let's just say the easiest dish to cook will do.

Easy Tomato Soup is just what it is, Tomato Soup plus your favorite
ingredients. It can be light or hearty, refreshing or comforting, simple
or complex; it all depends on what you decide to put in it for the day.

Easy Tomato Soup

* 1-2 tbsp olive oil
* 1/2 medium white onion, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, chopped
* 250g beef
* 1 can tomatoes (your favorite kind)
* 1 celery stalk, cubed
* 2 medium potatoes, cubed
* 2 medium carrots, cubed
* 1 cup beef stock
* herbs (optional)
* Worcestershire Sauce (optional)

- In a sauce pot, drizzle the olive oil. Saute the onions until soft. Add the 
garlic and saute until soft.
- Add the beef. Saute until half cooked. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Add a few drops of the Worcestershire Sauce. Continue sauteeing until 
almost done.
- Add the veggies and saute for 1 minute.
- Add the canned tomatoes and the beef stock. Add a dash or so of your 
favorite herbs. Season with salt and pepper (if needed).
- Simmer with the lid on for 10-15 minutes or until the veggies are cooked.
Serves 4-5

Oh yes, I usually slice up the celery into sticks. I know a lot of people 
who find celery overpowering. Slicing them up into sticks makes it
easier for eaters and non-eaters alike.

The kind of canned tomatoes you use plus the combination of herbs you 
put changes the "regionality" of the soup. The last time I served this soup, 
I used regular canned tomatoes and Italian Herbs. The soup was yummy 
in an Italian way.

Today, I decided to use the extra can of Mexican Style canned tomatoes.
H bought them when they were on special. This seemed like the safest
recipe to try it on. I sauteed onions, garlic, and red kidney beans. I added
the tomatoes and a cup of water. This result was a nice Vegetarian Chili Soup.

I sometimes get asked about what goes in our kitchen. Foodie Fridays is a
peek at what gets served at our dining table.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.

- Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss

We recently purchased Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss. It's one of the
books we got for Little M's homeschooling. Little did I know that it would 
turn out to be a book that we all would enjoy. 

Oh, the Places You'll Go is a book about life. It presents a no nonsense view
of life that children and adults can appreciate. It tells us how sometimes you'll
be up, and sometimes you'll be down. Regardless, it's what you decide to do
with your life that matters: if you work it, good things will manifest in your life.

And so if you're ever in need of a simple pick me up, grab a cup of tea and
curl up to Oh, the Places You'll Go. It's guaranteed to give you a good dose
of warm fuzzies.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

On Fire

What comes to mind when you hear the words "On Fire"?

Couples for Christ's Theme for 2012 is On Fire. Wow!

I did some introspection and faced up to the fact that I could NOT truly describe
my relationship with God as On Fire. Hmmm!?!

Honestly, I don't want to go through the: I will do this this this list. It's too
"tired"and tested. Instead, I will try to approach this "renewing" in the
same way that others are pursuing their passions. 

Learn it!
Zee is really into stocks. He constantly updates himself with what's happening
in the market. He closely monitors stocks. Many mistakenly think it's all a
breeze. Time and time again, Zee will tell you that the art of buying and selling
stocks is a discipline.

Ahhh, discipline. I'm sure Zee spends a few hours per day studying everything
so he can make the right stock picks. I'd love to say, "I will devote x amount
of hours everyday to praying and meditating on God's word." However,
I can't peg a number just yet. I also don't want to be too methodological
about it. I am simply aiming for daily prayers and bible reflection. I'm glad
I was able to bring over a 2012 Bible Diary; it has the scripture passages so
all I need to do is read.

Love it!
Jay is a running afficionado. Looking at him now, you'd never know that once
upon a time, he was extremely overweight. He's now quite fit. And then there's
the running clothes and shoes!!! Yes shoes!!! Apparently, running shoes should
only have a certain mileage in them. Then it's off to a new pair. Otherwise, you
risk seriously injuring yourself! As for Jay's schedule, expect to see running
events blocked off until the end of the year!

Time is so dear to us. Sometimes, all I want to do is chill. Instead, H and I have
decided to allocate more time to growing spiritually. There is the regular CFC
activities to participate in. We're also excited for a recent discovery; we hope
it will be a means for us to attend more teachings.

Live it!
My memory is a bit fuzzy on this but -- I think I first met Teacher Weena on the
night that she shared to our community her decision to pursue teaching. I didn't
really know her back then. Regardless, I admired her for making such a brave
career move; teaching is not exactly a lucrative career. Today, Teacher Weena
is an excellent Early Childhood Educator who is positively touching the lives
of children in her community. Kudos to her for living her passion!

I'm currently going through an interesting phase in my life. The recent move is
a bittersweet affair. I'm thankful for this great blessing. Yet it has it's own
share of challenges. Regardless of the circumstance, I've tried to stay positive. So
far so good. I've decided to be more open to sharing my experiences with
others. I've learned so much from the moms out there, I think it's about time I
added to the community pool.

Learn, Love and Live. Can't wait to see if these will put me On Fire.

Image courtesy of matthewvenn