Friday, July 22, 2011

Get Goopy

Get Goopy at WonderKids from Anna Cherubini on Vimeo.

I created this video from today's Get Goopy workshop at Leon's daycare.  Every little one (except Leon)  was having so much fun making a mess.  All kinds of sticky stuff everywhere and no adult saying no or cleaning up.  FUN.

Leon wasn't sure about all the sticky goo.  He dipped his hand in wet cornstarch and looked up at me immediately with a "this is gross" look on his face.  I'm learning plenty about him as the days go by.

Vote For Us @!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

it smells like bread!

I've been obsessed with baking lately.  It's often sparked by my disappointment of baked goods I buy from the store.  The so-so quality and taste of what is readily available in grocery shelves motivate me to bake, make it better and use fresh, high quality and organic ingredients if possible.

Not only are the results so much better in taste- it also turns out to be cheaper than buying from the store and preservative free.  You can't lose so if you have the time- definitely try making it yourself.

Almond Vanilla Biscotti

Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Artisan Rosemary Bread

me- very proud of my freshly baked rosemary loaves

I have a feeling this is just the beginning of my baking adventures.  More to come!

A current photo of my sweet boy.  He is more and more active each day, literally getting into everything and climbing everywhere.  It's a fun and very scary stage we are in at the moment.  I tend to underestimate his abilities still thinking that he is just a baby.  Time and time again he proves me wrong.  We were at Target the other day, I placed him securely in the cart with the safety straps on.  As I was pushing the cart along the isle he reached out and was able to pull a glass container off the shelf.  It shattered all over the floor!  I checked him immediately to make sure he didn't have any cuts and thank goodness he was fine.  I had a little cut on my leg that I felt later on.  Man, I have got to get with the program.  My 'lil Leon is growing up and is not so little anymore.

Vote For Us @!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

coming to terms

I'm not exactly sure how old I was in the picture.  I'm guessing 5 or 6 years old.  Even as a kid I was already good at posing for the camera- so funny.

I often find myself marveling at Leon.  I love to watch him play and do silly things with his toys.  He is so innocent and pure.  When he smiles or laughs- it's genuine, you know the joy is coming right from his heart.  I realized that I was once that kid. I was full of life and fearless.

I've learned so much in the last 12 years of living on my own in LA.  It's as if I had to be taken so far away from Manila- a place I used to call home- to unfold, to mature and to make peace with myself.  I can't  describe my childhood as troubled, but I can definitely recall that there were more unhappy times than good ones.  My parents separated when I was 5 years old.  It must have been a very traumatic experience because to this day I have a clear memory of the day my parents had a huge fight that led to my dad leaving our home.  I was 5, my older sister Pia was 8 and my 'lil sister Vanessa was just about to turn 2.  I remember very vivid scenes- my mama was so angry she pulled our "old school" rotary telephone so hard that she yanked the cord right out of the wall socket and off the phone went flying right to my papa's direction.  I even remember looking at luggages filled with my papa's clothes as he was taking off.  We were right in the middle of dinner when the argument began and my mama got a hold of another object to throw but this time whatever it was landed right into a big bowl of food.  I remember food splashed at us kids.  I was terrified and confused.  If I could reach out to that little girl I would hold her tight, tell her she is loved and that I will never let anything bad happen to her.
That was the beginning of me not feeling safe.  Ever since then I thought I had to be a certain way to be accepted and loved.  Somehow my parents separation taught me that who I genuinely am was not enough.

Here I am about to turn 33 in a month with a family of my own away from Manila and yet the memory of that day brings an enormous sadness in my heart.  The collapse of my parents relationship took a toll in all of us but most especially amongst myself and my sisters.  Being raised in a Filipino family where confrontation was considered tactless and unnecessary- all these hurt feelings were never brought to the surface.  As a result I grew up and went on with my life without the peace that only genuine forgiveness and understanding can bring.

From 5 years old until I finished college and left for the US-  my parents held on to the bitterness, anger and dismissal of each other.  The huge fight I remember like it was yesterday was only the beginning of a long stand off between my parents.  My papa remained a provider- paid for everything we needed but was never around.  He never saw me go to a high school dance, never met boys I had crushes on and those I dated and worst- he was never around on birthdays.  I didn't have a father figure- which later in my life- explained the many mistakes I made in my relationships as a young woman.

My mama did the best she can.  She was probably around her early 30's when her marriage fell apart already with three little girls.  Going through what she did would break anyone down.  I appreciate her more now than ever since I now know what it is like to be a mom.  I knew she went on with her life with a broken heart even though she did her best to bury the pain she felt.  Growing up I had hoped that she would be more affectionate and more open about her feelings.  I often wondered why she never told me or my sisters that she loved us.  Hearing her actually tell me she loved me back when I needed to hear it the most would have made me feel safe.  Maybe if I had then I would have not tried so hard to gain affection somewhere else other than home.
I realize that we all live with our own individual burdens- most of it dumped to us by our parents but regardless- everyday we're given the opportunity to overcome our issues.

The day I stopped blaming my parents was also the day I felt peace.  I had to be completely honest with myself, dig down to make sense of the past, forgive myself for past mistakes, to let go and really live in the moment.

I learned that being a mother is so powerful.  I am raising a man who will hopefully have a family of his own one day.  I want him to grow up observing a mother who loves him so much and is not afraid to tell him she loves him so.  I want to earn his respect so that he would show the same value towards every other woman in his life.  I want him to understand that his mom is passionate about her work and that working towards a goal he believes in will bring him fulfillment and purpose.

My parents' experience also taught me that marriage is not always easy and that there are times when it takes hard work to keep it together.  I feel so fortunate to have a partner who sees and accepts me for who I am.  We communicate so openly and we respect each other.  Both of us came from broken families and so we are both determined to make what we have last a lifetime.  I admire Chris as a father and he is my best friend.  No matter what comes our way- as long as we're both willing we can get past any hurdle together as a team.

Vote For Us @!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

We've been cooking up lots of pancakes at home.  Turns out Leon is a huge fan.  Mama has been loading it up with fresh blueberries, bananas and strawberries.  The plate pictured above was for Chris.  No maple syrup yet for the 'lil one.  

Vote For Us @!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

First time on the bike for Leon.  I was nervous at first but as soon as we got going I felt more and more comfortable.  Extra cautious though- the entire time.  Life as a mom has definitely turned me into someone who drives a little slower than I used to.  My little ones safety is the top priority.

Attended a block party in Studio City right by the CBS lot.  Wish we could have stayed longer.  
Thanks Dave for inviting us in your neighborhood!  We had lots of fun.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Baby shower event

I had the pleasure of cooking for a baby shower event today.  The menu was light and easy to eat- mostly finger foods.  My client- Jamie Brennan wanted to keep it simple without sacrificing flavor or elegance.  The look on the mom-to-be's face when she first saw the spread was priceless.  It makes all the hard work worth while.

Double vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese icing topped with pink chocolate shavings
Fudgy chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing

Veggie cakes with a creamy basil dip

fruit skewers, chicken cranberry on croissant, cheddar & chive scone