31 August 2008


We hosted a pre-Labor Day gathering at our house/yard and sufficiently wore ourselves and everyone else out. The adults stayed mainly glued to their chairs in the backyard enjoying grilled foods and home brews while the children swam...that is until later when the Wii was calling for the kiddos to "come hither" inside the house...and the kids spied my boxing bag...

28 August 2008

Coffee con Leche

So it's very obvious why I was attracted to this ring when I purchased it so many years ago...my caffeine addiction...which could become seriously jeopardized if Carnation stops making their Coconut Creme non-dairy creamer. What is not obvious (to me and anymore) is what type of stone (semi precious?) is set into the ring. I had lost this ring a long time ago during a visit to my mom's house and found it during our most recent trip to see her. I must have left/lost it during the Christmas 2004 visit. I've done a little research, i.e. Googled things like 'cream stone semi precious' but I haven't had an 'aha'. Findings so far. Interwebs, can you help a girl out?

26 August 2008

Ahhhh Relaxation...

Is it just me or am I the only one who finds dental cleanings so relaxing that I actually fall asleep? I can't help myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bun). When the dental hygienist starts to clean my teeth, my eyes roll back into my head and I am in an Alpha State. Sometimes I catch a catnap unless my hygienist is talking to me. And when I leave I feel so refreshed...too bad my insurance only covers cleanings twice a year!

25 August 2008

Napptural Hair - Halp!

So for 6 years I've been struggling with all forms of hair maintenance for my little girl. We've gotten advice from family, friends and strangers everywhere (mostly unsolicited), plus lots of judgment and critique for the way we've kept or un-kept Emi's hair. When Emi was born, her natural mom knew instinctively that I would need to learn to braid. I brushed this off because her sweet silken hair was so much like mine, I thought, only a little curlier. Braids were something in the far off future IF she wanted them. So for a little while I got away with using Tate's Conditioner, a mild leave in lotion with no yucky additives to bring out the natural curl. As her hair grew, the texture got thicker and coarser and I discovered Carol's Daughter products [I {heart} Carol's Daughter!] when Emi was a year old. I had Lisa Price's AWESOME products sent to me from Brooklyn and used them religiously to keep Emi's hair healthy and manageable. Today, 5 years later we are still faithful users of her wonderful products.

I loved to put her hair into 2 afro puffs most of the time and sometimes I plaited her hair, but at the end of the day, she looked like Pippy Longstocking. When she was 3 yrs old, her daycare teacher braided her hair into 8 pretty braids. I found out that when I braided her hair, I was braiding up instead of down so her hair would curl up. Lesson learned!

I got the hang of braiding and even decided to braid her hair into tiny little "strands of yarn" braids which I later found out are hell on earth to comb out. I got a lot of help from my husband with combing out these braids with a rat tail comb when needed.

But this past 6-8 months have taken their toll on our daughter tresses. We were spread very thin with extra time after work and Emi's activities were factored in. I washed her hair in braids/dreds and conditioned it, but I didn't make her sleep in her sleep cap and we were LONG OVERDUE with a whole head comb out. Months overdue.
After we returned from our family trip to FL, we decided to tackle combing out her hair. Carol's Daughter's Khoret Amen or Tui Hair Smoothies were the BEST at helping with this endeavor. And we were successful in combing out quite a few of the locs, mostly the ones framing her face. The braids/locs on her crown and nape were so tangled and matted that after 2 days of us combing out her hair and making her scalp so very tender, we all decided to cut her hair very short.

No problem until we got to the hair salon. This would be Emi's first salon visit and the first haircut given by anyone other than us (we trimmed the braids down twice during our efforts to comb out her hair). The stylist recommended we go to a barber to buzz Emi's hair to a more even level, then she could put a relaxer on her hair to give it some length. She saw the helpless look on our faces and started evening out what we had butchered. Emi started freaking out when the longer twists were cut off to blend in with the rest of her hair and caused the stylist to cut a little deep in one section.

By the end of this session, there were many tears from all of us and the stylist didn't charge us. We agreed to come back in a few days to have her remaining hair relaxed so she didn't "look like a boy". It was very devastating and we felt so bad. I washed the remaining sand/debris from her hair that evening and massaged some sweet smelling lotion and oil into her tresses and they felt healthier than they had in years. She looked adorable!

She went to her first day of First Grade at first sporting a head band, then later removing it and telling the class that she got her haircut and basically let's go on to the next topic. She held her head high until a friend of hers later said that her haircut made her look like a boy and made her cry. Kids are so blunt. I cried at work off and on thinking about how my baby girl was doing in school and later reminded her that she was going to get her hair relaxed and she'd have loose curls and more length.

She asked to straighten it and I told her we could do that temporarily when her hair was relaxed. For 3 days we talked about the game plan of loosening her curls for more length. Saturday came along and the stylist applied the relaxer leaving it on for only a short while before Emi started feeling the itch/burn. Then she tried to comb her hair a little and Emi begged her to rinse the relaxer out. The stylist rinsed her hair and tried to blow dry it straight (we saw smoke when she was doing this!) but Emi was too tenderheaded (thank God) and we were just happy to have her hair trimmed more evenly...something that also caused more tears.

The whole experience was traumatic and I wish we would have not taken Emi back to the 2nd visit. I was upset to learn that the stylist straightened her hair vice just relaxing it. She said to keep "grease" on her hair to keep it from drying out. Straightening and grease are 2 things I've avoided for Emi's entire life, only natural products and natural styles from the beginning... Wish we would have gone with the texturizer at home instead ... hindsight is 20/20, right?

I have been feeling like a failure because the "easy" style she has now, that she seems to like is totally against what I've tried to preserve for 6 years. I was hoping that we'd have the option of a short healthy afro. Maybe we will have some natural curl left in her hair once we wash it because the relaxer was not left on for the length of time that the stylist wanted. I hope. I do not want to be dependent on someone with a different view on nappy hair care (i.e. get rid of the naps!) who also stands to benefit from us having to visit her every 4-6 weeks for touchups.

Last night in her bath I rinsed her hair a little and thought I saw a little curling (I hope). Emi asked why she smelled the stuff that the stylist used on her hair and I explained that she smelled the burning from the chemical and the blow dryer (another thing we've avoided). I showed her how to brush her hair with her boar bristle brush and then I put her hair into 2 cute ponytails. One to cover the short almost bald spot where Emi moved while the stylist was cutting. I know we will get through this, but I feel bad for not keeping up with Emi's hair and worse for letting a stylist take over and put us past ground zero with her natural hair care. Right now we are planning on just using the natural hair products on her hair and see what happens when the new growth comes in....

20 August 2008

Mad World

Ok, is it bad that the theme song in my head today (my baby girl's first day of First Grade) is "Mad World" by Tears for Fears?

Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me, no one knew me
Hello teacher tell me what's my lesson
Look right through me, look right through me

Florida Waiting

Waiting in the Winn Dixie parking lot...

Waiting for Cuban Sandwiches at La Familia

Waiting to board at Tampa Airport

16 August 2008

Hippie Hippie Chic

Today we (Hippie Chicks) catered a wedding for 250-300. It was a nice gig with fruit, cheese and tea. We spent several hours last night cutting the cheese (hee-hee) for our Marinated Cheese and several hours this morning preparing the Proscuitto Wrapped Melon, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, cutting fruit for the Fruit Trays and the Apricot Honey Drizzled Brie. The food was yummy, albeit it rustic looking at times (we call THAT "Hippie Chic") and we had a very nice time.

14 August 2008

ADHD Accelerated with Caffeine Intake

Looking for a Reuben sandwich recipe, actually looking for information on Russian dressing after finding a recipe for Reuben and running into trouble finding Russian dressing at Super Target, I found this site ... and also wonderful recipe for coconut cupcakes, something my daughter and I have been itching to bake. Funnily enough, I heard mention of Elise's website when checking out Burnt Lumpia's recipe for chicken foot stock. I wasn't looking at his blog for THAT recipe, but for tips on the correct way to display the traditional wooden fork and spoon on the wall. My mom gave us a set while we were visiting her recently and after we informed my husband's sister about the wooden utensil set on the way via UPS, she brought out a set she bought us a few months ago, after she read about the significance and meaning from reading Burnt Lumpia's blog. The set looks almost exactly like the set my mom gave us...so we'll hang them in the Kitchen and Gathering Room as welcoming symbols to our friends. Weird how things circle back, huh? Wonder what would happen it I decided to go for a 3rd cup of coffee...

12 August 2008


Not sure I am considered a Filipina as I was born in the states, but I consider myself an honorary Filipina when I am around my mom and any of my Filipina cousins...

We met a COOL COUSIN of mine today - Julie - and we LOVE her because her glass is HALF FULL. She is funny and sure of herself and I look forward to getting to know her better and meeting her family....

Counting Our Blessings...

The crashing of the waves, the seagulls calling friends to check out a possible cadre of food, the ocean breeze....I want to take this home with me as something to focus on when things get so crazy back in real life.....

We didn't get to spend much time on the beach, Fort DeSoto Beach, because the rain storms kept rolling in, but it was a nice time for our family to spend away from "it all"... we do miss "it all" though...

11 August 2008

The Dark Continent?

Today we went to Busch Gardens and spent almost 9 hours exploring the zoo, gardens, rides (hoo boy!) and culinary offerings (Zambia Smokehouse). I'm too tired to expand on the wonderful day at the park, but I am happy to tell you that we survived SheiKra - the nation's first dive coaster now featuring floorless cars so that (your feet dangle) you can experience the "unobstructed view of the 70 mph rush"! So true! We dropped 200 ft 90 degrees STRAIGHT DOWN....TWICE!! I was surprised that my Zambian BBQ didn't come back up. Probably because we let our food digest a little on the Tanganyika Tidal Wave ride first. I've posted some pics of our day for now on my flickr.

10 August 2008

Mama Mila

So we went to the movies today and the ladies (me, my mom -Mila- and Rose) watched Mama Mia and daddy and Emi saw The Mummy. What a great movie Mama Mia was! My eyes were watering most of the time in between the times I was laughing. The color blue in the movie has been a huge inspiration for me over the past 2 years. For instance, my office getting painted a baby aqua and my husband and Santa getting together to get me some aquamarine earrings and necklace for Christmas. I have decided that after thoroughly enjoying the movie that 1) we need the soundtrack and 2) we MUST go to Greece ASAP!

After the movie we went to Shell's for an excellent mojito (me) and wonderful seafood (all). It's tradition to eat at Shell's as much as possible when we visit because we have nothing that compares in Central Oklahoma. I know that probably surprises you...

It was a very satisfying day...

08 August 2008

Greetings from Siesta Key

Not sure why baby girl was looking so upset ...
It's beautiful here in sunny Florida...cooler than Oklahoma with scattered thunderstorms...here are some pics from our stay so far...

03 August 2008

Peace Sign Omen

Not sure how to interpret this...
It's been in the triple digits here for the past couple of weeks and one day recently when I got into my car to go home from work, I noticed that the "ce" of my metal "peace" sign (dangling from my rear view mirror) was now on my dashboard. Maybe just time for a new car dangle? Let's go with that.