Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tipid "Me-Times"

Much has been said about every mom’s need for “me-time”. From trips to nail salons, girls’ night out, shopping to eating out, we have a lot of options. But what if the family’s on a tight budget and though time out may not be the issue, money is?

Could Mommy still afford to get some “me-time”?

Of course!

Here are some of my free or inexpensive “me-time” ideas that you might want to try:

1.     Have tea.
Either I grab a P100 and go to our nearest milk tea place by myself (I can surf online or DO NOTHING uninterrupted!) or I buy flavored tea in the grocery and enjoy a hot mug at home curled up with a good book, inside our LOCKED bedroom or when baby's taking a nap. I recommend Celestial Seasonings natural teas. Their blends are soothing and delicious.

2.     Swim.
You know that feeling like you’re all uptight and rolled up, with your muscles unstretched and your mind’s reeling from things you’re doing, and on what else you should be doing, and so on and so forth. Moms, you know what I’m talking about, right? Sometimes, multi-tasking just takes its toll and I end up feeling constricted. A cool swim does wonders! It stretches my entire body and I feel my blood circulating again (seriously!). Well, exercise really does this for us but I chose swimming because we have a pool in our condo complex so I get to exercise for free, plus I can really “get away” in the pool. Just me and the water. Tip: If you don’t have a pool, I’m sure you know somebody who lives in a condo near you. Call up that friend and ask if you can swim in their condo pool for an hour.

3.     Talk.
Talking seems to be most women’s favorite pastime. It’s a stress reliever. So do it, but try it with your journal or your phone’s voice recorder, or your laptop’s video camera, in the privacy of your room. Writing is my method of choice so I curl up with my journal and just write, write, write. It’s a healthier way to rant away any negative stuff I had to deal with, and it’s a fantastic way to remind myself of my countless blessings. Inevitably, most of my journal entries turn to prayers, love letters I direct to God Himself.

4.     Take a hot shower.
Seriously, there’s nothing like warm/hot water to soothe those tired muscles, and reinvigorate a tired Momma! Slather on some moisturizing body butter or lotion after because, if you’re like me, dry skin is essentially just “bad trip”. I recommend Human Nature’s Body Butter in Mango Passion or Body Lotion in Vanilla scent.

5.     Have a beauty experiment.
I used to practice doing the smoky eye look during stay-home me-times, or putting together a new outfit using old pieces I have in my closet. When I became a mom, I don’t get to experiment so often now on my best look when we’re about to go out. I tend to just put on whatever is easiest to find. But now, I’m appreciating makeup a bit more, and enjoying putting together outfits again during my special alone times. When I can’t go to a nail salon, I also paint my nails and enjoy the luxury of having beautiful, painted nails without the scare of nippers. Read more about that fear here

6.     Go to a bookstore.

Okay, maybe this won’t apply to everyone as not everybody enjoys reading. But there’s something about bookstores that’s really comforting for me. I spend hours in OMF Bookstore, which is just near our house, and I could really de-stress in any Fully-Booked, or National Book Store. I choose several titles, put them on my lap and settle myself on a seat or even on the floor and just read away. I also love that I can easily pick up a book for pasalubong too for my little bookworm, Gabbie.

What about you, what’s your cheapo me-time idea? J

Friday, September 20, 2013

Hoisin Glazed Salmon Fillet and Sauteed Mushroom & Veggies

Our gourmet meal for the week was a healthy one. I wanted to include Salmon in our menu because its packed with Omega 3-fatty acids that are good for the heart, and for the brain. It may be a bit pricey but its nutritional content certainly makes it worth it. I thought this would be a better splurge than on steaks or any other beef meat. 

These two dishes combined made for some healthy, flavorful fare that cost more or less P300 with a serving size that fed three adults plus one toddler in our home. My little Gabbie couldn't get enough of it!

Only two Salmon slabs left! I snapped up a pic before it was completely gone!
Note that the Salmon recipe in this dish was derived from this website:
but I replaced the lime juice with dalandan (go local!) and I cooked it in our turbo broiler instead of in a broiler pan. Worked just as well!

This is worth a try, Mommas!

Hoisin Glazed Salmon

250 grams salmon steaks
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Hoisin sauce
1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
1 tspn muscovado sugar
½ dalandan squeezed (remove seeds)
salt, pepper

1.     Marinate the salmon steaks with all the other ingredients for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Store in the ref while doing so.
2.     Cover your turbo broiler’s rack with foil.
3.     Carefully line up the steaks onto the rack and drizzle with remaining marinade.
4.     Heat up the turbo broiler to 200 degrees for 10 minutes.
5.     Cook your veggies while the fish is cooking.

Sauteed Mushroom & Veggies

2 cloves garlic, minced
100 grams fresh Baguio beans
100 grams young corn
1 can sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp butter
Salt, pepper

1.     Saute garlic in Canola or Olive oil.
2.     Saute mushrooms. When softened, add Baguio beans and young corn. Toss, then add ½ cup water. Cover for 1 minute.
3.     Add butter then add salt, pepper.

4.     Lower the heat, then cover for another minute or less, making sure your beans are still crunchy. Serve while hot.

Friday, September 13, 2013

In Need of Grace

Today, I feel like I’m running on empty. Struggling to keep my tone even to my extra-kulit, super active, energetic toddler, I know my patience is wearing thin. And I know that he’s just getting started (he’s barely two).

It’s just the small things put together that cause a bit of wear and tear to a stay-at-home mom, and I know that I could use a break.

It’s because of today that I decided to write this article because I know I need it.

In the two years that I’ve been a mom, I have come to realize two things: That I’m no expert, and that I’ll always be needing grace.

Parenting in itself is a challenge, and I’m far from perfect. If that were all that there was in this whole equation, I’d have panicked and given up.

Thankfully, my God assured me that is not the case. He said, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deutoronomy 31:8

I’m thankful that I have Him, and I’m especially grateful for His grace.

For His purpose gives us purpose, and makes sense out of frenetic days.

And His grace has assures me that though I may have bad days, it does not mean
I’m destined to be an inadequate mom, or to have a “bad” child.

As we are a “work in progress”,  so is our child.

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

His grace also assures me that the more challenging it is, the more I can rely on Christ.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

And in moments when I’m losing patience, God says it is my duty that to steer myself away from the moment.
See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled. Hebrews 12:15

That means, go out, take some me-time, or in my case earlier, I locked myself in our room for as long as I could, just to drink in some silence and peace. Worked wonders for my patience.

Tantrums drive me nuts sometimes. More grace, please!
Step back, step out once in a while, Mommies.

Take a deep breath and remember that tomorrow is a brand new day!