Thursday, October 23, 2014

Random post on this blog, social media, and podcast

It's been a while since I am writing about the state of this blog. The last time I did was in 2012, when I changed the blog name to Choosing to Cherish. Our life has changed since then. The kids are growing, and we as parents are growing and changing too. I found it easier for me physically now that the kids are older and less dependent. They can walk, eat, go potty, change clothes on their own, help with cleaning up, getting stuff, and so on, but it's harder for me mentally. There is a lot of "why questions" to answer to, character to mold, heart to shapes, good seeds to sow, and craziness to deal with daily:

We began our official homeschooling journey last year which has not been easy but oh so rewarding. I am grateful and treasure each second knowing that they don't live with us forever. With that said, I just want to communicate this so you know what to expect: I plan to publish only 2 posts each week and one of them would be recipe.

It's still amused me that I, the girl who didn't like to cook in the beginning, would be able to actually enjoy cooking and making things. I learned how blessing other physically through food can bless their soul or at least can build a bridge for a deeper relationship. What a joy it is whenever I read a message from someone telling me how the recipes on this blog has encourage other to cook more for themselves and/or their family.

on Social Media:
I am not on Twitter and I don't have Facebook Page. I have a personal one, which I like to keep private. You can add me on Google+ if you have one. I am back to Google+ after hearing Guy Kawasaki's talk below.

I am also on Instagram. I found it useful as tool to capture my blessings/ 1000 gifts: anything from my daily life that make me smile, the sweet little gifts that God bestows each and every day.

Chris and I recently attended a small conference in which Ann Voskamp was one of the speaker. She suggested to list down 3 things we are thankful for that day. Her reasons:

I love listening to podcast while I do hand activity such as washing the dishes, folding laundry, and driving. Besides a few good ones that I shared before, below are a few more that I found and enjoy listening to recently:
a. Influence Network
b. How They Blog
c. Microblogger
d. Brilliant Business Mom

That's all from me. Thank you for reading my rambling post 'til the end.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Visiting Belitung - Part 2: Lengkuas Island

Click here to read Visiting Belitung Part 1: Tanjung Tinggi Beach 

The next day, we woke up early, had breakfast then headed to Tanjung Kelayang, the starting point of our island hopping:

After securing a boat to rent for $45 for the whole day {we paid a deposit and paid the rest at the end of the trip}, off we went to the sea...

First stop was Bird Island or Pulau Burung

Next we sailed through this island called Sandy Island or Pulau Pasir. During low tide, the island appears, when the tide rises, the island submerges.

How Didi rated the trip so far. He would give two thumbs up but the other hand got to hold on to the boat.

Finally after 45 minutes, we reached our destination: Lengkuas Island or Pulau Lengkuas:

Of course we have to check the old light house. It was either built or opened in 1823.

Inside the light house.

They have a rule that visitor must take off their shoes or sandals, which I don't think it's a good idea since the metal stairs were old and there were some broken part. I prayed all the way that our feet won't get hurt. Thankfully, we didn't get hurt. I think wearing socks would be a good idea. At least it would prevent direct contact with the old metal.

About half way to the top. We were sweating and exhausted. We didn't know how many more stairs we would have to climb to reach the top. I took a peak through the window and saw this amazing view:

I then looked up. Hey, we're almost there! We can do this!

Finally, last floor before we reach the top
We made it. Yay!!! I am so very proud of my boys. They walked all the way up and down the stairs by themselves. It's hard even for adults to make it. Way to go, boys!

The sweet rewards:

I was holding on the boys as Chris took this picture

We went down backward otherwise it's too scary for Didi. We met a couple who were on the way to the top and almost gave up. Seeing Didi encouraged them to do the keep moving. I told them, "It's worth it. Keep taking one step at a time and you will get there!"

Max was rewarded with getting to see and pet baby turtles

He gently taught Didi the proper way to hold it:

Next we took the boys swimming in the middle of the Ocean to see Nemo and his friends.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Blackberry Ice Cream

A few weeks ago the blackberries was on sale at the Farmer Market. I rarely buy blackberries but since it's on sale, I grabbed some knowing that I can use it to make Blackberry ice Cream. What I didn't expect was it turned out to be my favorite ice cream flavor.

Cook the blackberries with a little sugar:
Crush the berries with hand blender or regular blender:

A few more steps and you get to enjoy the fruit of your labor... Voila!

Blackberry Ice Cream

Cook time:

Printable Recipe
1 pint or 473 ml heavy cream
a pinch of salt
250 ml whole milk
130 grams sugar {add more if you like prefer sweeter or your blackberry is tart}
5 egg yolks
350 grams of blackberry


1.       Cook blackberries in a medium sauce pan in low heat, add some sugar (about 2 teaspoon), and cook 'till soft while stirring once in a while about 15 minutest then blend them in the blender 'till smooth.  Let it cool until it reach room temperature then put it in the fridge.

2.      Heat the cream, salt, milk and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil then turn off the heat. In separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks.

3.      Slowly pour some of the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.

4.      Heat the pan, stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with wooden spatula, until the mixture reach 80 Celsius.

5.      Remove pan from the heat, pour the custard through a strainer.  Let it cool until it reach room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.

6.      Mix in the blackberry puree, stir well.  Process in an ice cream maker for 25 minutes or according to the manufacturer's directions.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Visiting Belitung - Part 1: Tanjung Tinggi Beach

During our last visit to Indonesia, we took a quick three days getaway to a small beautiful island called Belitung. Our parents were planning to go with us but they canceled at the last minutes due to health reason and busyness so it's just the four of us who ended up going.

We flew from Jakarta to Tanjung Pandang. Once we arrived, we called the driver whom we booked earlier to drive us around the island.

On the way to the hotel, we had lunch at Rumah Makan Belitong Timpo Duluk:

 It has very interesting decor

The food was delicious too. Highly recommended!

We stayed at Aston hotel, not a fancy resort but it's clean, which is important for me. After 12 years of marriage, we finally figured out the best arrangement to have enjoyable vacation for both of us: Chris to plan the whole trip while I choose the hotel.

After a quick nap, we headed to Tanjung Tinggi Beach.

The big stones reminded me of Lake Tahoe.

The not so good part is the fact that I found trash {soiled diaper, plastic bottle, used food packaging} everywhere. Having to live in the US for a while, I was not used to this so I picked them up one by one. Hopefully they can do better in managing the trash in the future.

Besides that and the relentless mosquitoes {thankfully, we had been warned and brought mosquitoes repellents} I have no other complain.

The kids wasted no time to dip in the water.

Warm weather plus warm water plus

soft white sands plus

beautiful beach equals to happy us.

We played

and played

and played  'till sunset


Then we closed the night with fresh grilled seafood at a nearby restaurant.

Ahhh... my mouth is watering just looking at these pictures.

Stay tuned for Visiting Belitung - Part 2: Lengkuas Island!