click to view profile Simple yet complicated. A mama of 3 (yes, 3!) enjoying her life. Hawaii born & raised. Makeup addict/hoarder. Loves and appreciates family & friends. A queen of food porn. Lives to laugh. Sees the glass half full. True gemini. Will never hold a grudge. Believes true happiness comes from the simplest things in life.

"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot." -Unknown

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday to my Mini-me!

Oh my goodness, how time sure flies! I remember as if it were yesterday that I was at the hospital in labor. This is my little baby girl, Alani who celebrated her first birthday yesterday. She's not walking yet, only has one tooth and is always playing with my makeup instead of her toys lol. ;)

;) Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Quick & Easy Dinner: Mushroom & Shrimp Linquine

Whenever I'm in a rush to get dinner on the table and into the tummies of my loved ones, I always turn to pasta dishes.  Being a mother of 3, I don't always have time to be spending hours in the kitchen. As much as I'd like to it's not always possible. I usually always have pastas on hand as well as prepared pasta sauces (however, I do make my own sometimes) and of course veggies, and frozen shrimp or chicken. I actually made this last week for our meatless Friday dinner. All I did was boil the pasta (I like mine al dente, so I threw in the pasta into the boiling water for 7-8 minutes tops), sautee the mushrooms with chopped onions in olive oil and butter, pour in the alfredo sauce, threw in some parmesan cheese and some pesto as well as whatever seasonings you want to add. While that's heating up on low heat, I steamed some brocolli and heated up the garlic bread in the oven. I went back to the sauce and added some shrimp that I usually buy in bulk at Sam's Club, then I added the linquine. Make sure if you're adding cooked shrimp, to add it in at the last minute when you're about to turn off your heat. You don't want the shrimp to be tough or rubbery. Dinner was served in under half an hour. :)

What are your favorite easy dinner dishes?

Facebook: The good and the bad

Good afternoon my beautiful ladies!

Okay, so this isn't going to be a full on "rant". Maybe just a semi-rant. Maybe.

I've been on Facebook for over 2 years now. I used to be very active on the #1 social networking site. To the point where, I would check it every chance I could. In fact, I had a "facebook routine". Immediately after logging in, I would read through my newsfeed until the last one that I remembered reading already. I would comment on status updates, 'Like' the photos that I really liked that were newly uploaded, write on my friends' walls just to say a quick "hello" if I haven't heard from them in a while, post pictures of food porn in my 'Cooking Mama' album, and I was always sure to say Happy Birthday to my friends who had a birthday. You name it, I did it. I even had my Farmville days. (yes, i know lol). It was so bad that I set my alarm so I could harvest my crops immediately. LMAO. I ain't gonna lie. But yeah, it was that bad. Thankfully, the Farmville stage didn't last very long lol.

I've tried to keep my facebook profile more personal, adding only people I really knew. I didn't want it be a whole Myspace episode again where I added everyone. I've been absent from Facebook recently and most of my friends noticed. I'm just tired of the stupid crap that people put out there. It's like, really? Are you serious??

The Bad

- People put wayyyyy too much information about their personal lives on facebook. And when I say wayyyyy too much information, that's exactly what I mean. Honestly? I don't really care to hear about your "man" that is continuously cheating on your or treating you like a doormat. But yet you do nothing but stay and whine and complain. Not only that, you are continuously getting knocked up by this dude. Have you not learned your lesson? Or just close your legs, how bout that? These people just don't know when to stop. Or at least talk about something else! The worst part about this as that you will see them update their status with something along the lines of, "I just wish people would mind their own business!" *looks to the left...and then to the right* Are you foreal right now? How in the world can you expect people to mind their own business when you are literally posting your whole life story for all to read and see? I just...don't get it.

- People who go crazy with the whole "checking-in" thing. Personally, I don't mind if my friends tag me here and there when we are out somewhere having a drink or dinner. But there are those who constantly do the 'check-in'. Some people actually do it EVERYwhere they go and I mean everywhere. Even if it's "just checked in 'at home'". omg.

- The ones who post about anything sex-related or pertaining to sex in general. People talkin 'bout how they like it or how big their man's shit is. Come on people, keep that shit between you and your man. Not you and all your friends on facebook. You don't see me going around talking about the shit that I do in bed or bragging about it. I know that we live in a society where sex is plastered everywhere. But I don't think you should just put all your biz out there like that. It's just...not classy. Call me old fashioned but that's just me.

- People who don't think about the things they say or post beforehand. Sometimes people just say shit that totally offends people but they don't even realize it because they always post shit like that so they think okay. Seriously, it isn't that hard to think about what you're gonna put out there for all of your friends and family to see. But I guess if you really don't give a fuck then you obviously just don't give a fuck.

- When people try to add you as a friend just because you have mutual friends. On top of that, you get no message stating who the hell they even are or where they might know you from. There were a few that I added, not knowing who they were and for weeks I never heard from them. I really don't know what their intentions are. It just makes you question them as if they're really just tryna be all up in your biz and be nosey. I personally think it's proper facebook etiquette to at least send a message saying something like "hey remember me?" when trying to add someone. Usually if they don't send a message like that, you'll never hear from them. And trust, those people were eventually deleted.

- Facebook is always 'upgrading' this or 'updating' that. They really need to just stick with something because I like consistency. I don't like having to figure something out when it was so simple and easier before. They also have glitches here and there and at one point I wasn't receiving any of my messages, which got me into trouble because people thought I was ignoring them (more drama) lol.

- I don't like that everything you post on your friends' walls is shown on your profile. I don't understand why they made it that way. If I wanted everyone to see what I was saying to my ONE friend, I would post it as my status!

I think there are more but I'm having a brain fart lol.

The Good:

- I love facebook for allowing me to keep in touch with all my friends and family, near or far.

- I like being able to find out what's going on with my friends and family just by reading their status updates or seeing pictures of my family that I haven't seen in years.

- I like being able to share my recipes with everyone. Who doesn't love food porn?

- Facebook is the next best thing to google. If there are new acronyms that I'm not aware of, I'll just ask and get an answer within minutes lol.

- I like that almost everyone and every thing has a facebook page and you can 'like' it to stay up to date with everything that's going on.

The number one reason why I use facebook is to keep in touch with family and friends. I doubt that I will close my account due to the things I mentioned above that irritate me. But I just had to vent. So thanks for listening! lol.

Are you guys on facebook? What are your thoughts about it? Positive and negative?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

30 things you probably never knew about me

I posted this as a note on my facebook a few months ago and thought I'd share it with you all. It was originally a tag so if you would like to do this, feel free. ;)

1. I can never hold a grudge. I am a woman of peace and I choose to let by-gones be by-gones and put the past where it belongs-in the past! Life is just too short not to forgive and move on.

2. The only time in my life I considered myself to be "thin" was during my sophomore year of high school. I tried out for the "Saber Steppers" team (a cross between a dancing/cheerleading team) and made it. What I wouldn't give to get that body back!!

3. I'm a lefty. Lefties rule. :)

4. I can't stand bad grammar and spelling. i.e. it's would've not would of. Would've is a contraction of the words 'would' and 'have'. The same goes for the dreaded 'could of'. I see that a lot and it's like a bad itch that I can't reach. lol.

5. (ok, you probably knew this one already) Makeup truly makes me happy. Not only the makeup itself but the art of expressing myself through beauty and a world of color intrigues and captivates me. It is something that I am truly passionate about. Just the sight of makeup gives me butterflies in my tummy. lol. I am also a makeup addict/hoarder. =T

6. I love food. (i know, you knew this one too lol) I consider myself to be an intermediate cook. I also love to bake. I try to make home-cooked meals for my family whenever possible. Even if I spend 2 hours cooking something, the time is all worth it when I hear one of my little ones say, "I love your cooking, Mama!" It's also satisfying to see my other half enjoy a home-cooked meal after a long hard day at work. :)

7. I can get very emotional & sensitive about things-even when Aunt Flo is out of town lol. Sometimes, when I hear a certain song, my eyes start to well up. Or when I start talking about something I feel strongly about, I get teary-eyed. Hell, I even cried during my interview at Sephora because I started talking about how much I love makeup. lol.

8. Aside from having a sensitive side, I am a gemini. So I definitely have my yin and yang. I'm down-to-earth, quick-witted, enjoy a good sense of humor, like to make friends, and I like to have fun! :) Although I must admit, I've been a bit of a homebody lately lol.

9. I truly love my mom and dad. I see so many qualities of them in myself. They have made many sacrifices for me and forever grateful I will be. Even though I've made mistakes in the past and have disappointed them in more ways than one, they have never abandoned me and have always given me their unconditional love. We have our differences like all families do, but at the end of the day I am so very thankful to have them both in my life as my parents. ;)

10. When typing, I like to type 'lol' after things I say. Sometimes I'll use 'lmao', seldom do I use 'lmfao', and rarely do I use 'roflmao'. lol.

11. I love to laugh. Most people know me by, or can recognize me in a crowd by, my laugh. lol.

12. Every time I play monopoly I always choose the thimble. And no, I don't know why. lol.

13. I've always wanted to learn how to knit or crochet.

14. I don't know how to swim.

15. I LOVE sushi and raw fish. Spicy ahi and unagi are my best friends. I could eat sushi every day. But that would never happen because it can get pricey.

16. I can't stand it when people don't know how to take a good picture. Come on people, it's not rocket science. It's all about using the zoom when necessary and getting good angles.

17. I hate waiting. Waiting in line. Waiting to eat. Waiting for someone to pick me up. Waiting for a limited edition makeup item or collection to finally hit the stores. Waiting for the next stall in a public bathroom when I'm sweating bullets to go number 2. Waiting for an open parking stall at very crowded places such as the mall or swap meet. You get the point.

18. I used to hate avocados and pinacbet. But now I love them like a fat kid loves cake.

19. I HATE BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE! I am one of those people who will send my bloody rare steak back when I ordered a medium well. I am one of those people who will call the 1-800 toll free number on the back of my Oscar Mayer premium thick cut bacon to complain about the mold. Can't stand lazy people who don't do their job because I will ask to speak to the general manager. Trust me, you will not win.
20. I'm a total germophobe! Yes, I am aware that hand sanitizers are pretty much useless in keeping germs at bay. However, I still like to use them for the sake of feeling as if I'm actually waterlessly washing my hands. lol. I do not like my kids touching things when we are out and about. They often hear me saying, "Stop!", "Don't touch that!!", "Touch that again and you're gonna get it" If all else fails, I just give them the glare. Then they know what's up. lol.

21. I consider myself to be pretty computer/tech savvy. I started making webpages almost 10 years ago. It was a hobby that I enjoyed at the time. That has evolved into blogging. I've been blogging on and off for almost 4 years. It's pretty much like having an online journal to document your life. I find it interesting to look back on things that I used to do or say. Or wear. lmao. It's cool to see how I've changed and grown over the years.

22. I hate rushing. I always try to plan things accordingly. Being that I am a mother of 3, I have learned that time is definitely of the essence. I am constantly looking at the clock. I like to allow myself enough time, sometimes a litle more than needed, to prepare for things I need to do or places I need to go. If I am running late or end up rushing it usually frustrates me and I stress out about it really bad.

23. I hate my big feet. I'm a size 9 1/2 or sometimes 10, depending on the brand and type of shoe. I wish I had smaller feet, like maybe a 6 or a 7, even a 8 would be good. There never seems to be anything cute in my size. Usually all the good stuff is in the smaller sizes. When I see something cute in the 7 or 8 aisle, I try to look in my aisle for the same thing and if, IF I do find it, it just looks like it was made for an ogre. Which is why I am usually seen in flip-flops or my trusty gladiator sandals lol.

24. I refuse to drink tap water. Period.

25. I am completely, utterly in love with my children. I may be strict on them but it's all out of love. They make me laugh, they make me smile. They get into cat fights here and there as all kids do, but they are very close and love each other very much. They are my pride and joy. ;)

26. People always seem to think I'm Hawaiian & Japanese. When I tell them I'm full filipino, they trip out and no believe! lol.

27. I believe that EVERY woman can rock red lipstick. When done right, it's a no-fail.

28. I LOVE dinuguan. Yep, the chocolate meat (pig's blood). I asked my dad to make that instead of turkey this Thanksgiving. lol.

29. I tend to be judgemental when it comes to certain things, but never people.

30. I can be very indecisive. I'm always the last one to order my food. I'd rather shop online because I can leave things in my 'shopping cart' for days or weeks until I finally decide. Sometimes I think I've made my decision and then I'll change my mind at the very last minute.

I didn't tag anyone but if you want to do this, feel free. I'd love to know more about YOU. =)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cake Pops!

These little balls of cake-like goodness have been the talk of the town for quite some time now. They are very popular and are even being sold in stores like Starbucks. Being a lover of all things food (especially sweets!) I googled 'cake pops' to see if I could get an easy recipe to try. Lo and behold, there were so many easy recipes out there and most of them featured step-by-step instructions complete with pictures. I just had to give it a go. So I headed out to get the supplies that I needed and went to work.

I've gotta admit that these were fairly easy to make. However, it was a little time consuming considering the fact that I had initially put in too much frosting with my crumbled cake, which resulted in having to bake another cake! Had I not made that mistake, it would've been easier. Keep reading if you'd like to see how I made my own cake pops.

1 (14.25 oz) box cake mix (Any flavor-I used Butter Pecan & Funfetti)
1 (16 oz) can of frosting, you will not need all of it (Any flavor-I used Cream Cheese)
1 (24 oz) package of almond bark/candy coating (white or chocolate) or Wilton Candy Melts (Any color-I used White and Light Cocoa)
Lollipop sticks

Bake the cake mix according to the directions on the package.

Crumble the cake into fine pieces.

Place in a large bowl and stir in half of the frosting container.

Mix with your hands until thoroughly combined and thick. Mix in additional frosting if necessary.

 Roll mixture into 1″ balls and place on a cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or overnight. You can do this step the day before and then dip them the following day.  Do not freeze them before dipping or it may cause the chocolate to crack after they are dipped.

 Melt chocolate in the microwave per directions on package. Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in a little of the melted candy coating and insert into the flat end of the cake balls. Put your stick in the cake ball a little more than halfway, this helps it to stay secure while dipping.

(I don't have any photos of the dipping process or decorating process)
Carefully insert the cake ball into the candy coating by holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered. Once covered, remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Don’t tap too hard or the cake ball will fall off, too. Immediately cover with sprinkles before the chocolate has a chance to set, then insert in a styrofoam block to harden. (I just poked holes in carboard box and it worked just fine)

 And here they are! :)

Juse use your imagination when decorating them. The possibilities are endless.

 A shot of my kids, ready to devour their cake pops. :)
I hope you all enjoyed this! I look forward to having more recipe posts! =)

*This recipe was adapted from: Recipe Rhapsody & LittleMissMomma. For more cake pop ideas, visit Bakerella.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Aloha & Welcome!

Aloha! Some of you may already know me from my makeup blog, Makeup Artistry By L.J. Blogging has been an incredible creative outlet for me and I wanted to continue to blog on a more personal level, sharing tidbits of my life aside from my love and passion for makeup. So I hope you all enjoy this blog as I will be sharing random thoughts and special moments in my life. Please feel free to follow or comment, I appreciate any and all feedback. Thank you! ;)