Monday, February 24, 2014

Homemade Beef Chow Fun!

That's right. We made chow fun at home and we liked it!! It obviously doesn't taste EXACTLY like it does at Chinese restaurants, but it doesn't taste bad for being homemade. We followed a recipe of course. And who's recipe would we use but none other than the famous.... Martin Yan from Yan Can Cook!! Find his recipe and the original instructions here, but I'll basically copy it into this blog post.




Ingredients
  • 1/2 lb. dried wide rice noodles (we got a pack of thick dry noodles that are used for pho)
  • 3 Tbsps. dark soy sauce (we used brewed soy sauce so not sure if that's actually dark soy sauce)
  • 2 tsps. dry sherry or Chinese rice wine (we used 12% alcohol Chinese rice wine)
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced across the grain (we used carne asada)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 tsps. oyster sauce
  • 2 Tbsps. vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced onions (we diced instead of sliced)
  • 3 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces (we omitted this because I don't like green onions as much)
Directions (any changes we made in italics)
Prep & Cook Time Total for us: 30-40mins
  1. Soak the noodles in warm water until softened, about 30 minutes; drain. We followed the noodle package instructions and decided to boil for a couple minutes instead and then drain. Also, our package said to soak for 10-15mins so not sure how long we would've had to soak them for.
  2. Combine 1 tablespoon of the dark soy sauce, the rice wine, and cornstarch in a small bowl; add the beef and stir to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes. 
  3. Combine the beef broth, oyster-flavored sauce and the remaining 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce in a bowl. Set the sauce aside.
  4. Heat wok over medium-high heat. We just used a large, deep pan instead of a wok. Add the oil, swirling to coat the sides. Add the onions and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the flank steak and the green onions; stir-fry until the beef is no longer pink, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the noodles to the wok and toss gently. Add the sauce toss to coat evenly. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes more. Serve immediately.


Tips/Recommendations
  • We boiled the noodles before preparing anything else so by the time the noodles were ready to go into the pan, they were a little too dry and stuck together. Boil noodles last before step #4!!! Prepare everything first. 
  • As we diced the onions instead of sliced them, I preferred it better this way because the onions were cooked more thoroughly than served at restaurants. This is a personal preference. If you like them more raw, then slice them.
  • Don't put all the soy sauce in one bowl!! The instructions call for it to be split up into two bowls so don't measure this out ahead of time.
  • Add green onions and possibly bean sprouts! It was missing a little color and we think this would've added some more flavor.
I hope you enjoy this recipe like we did! It's really not that hard to make either. Besides prepping the ingredients, the cooking part is pretty easy. Let me know how it goes in the comments below! :) 

     Love,

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Weekly Faith: Week 7



I was really encouraged by some friends from EPIC to go to church while I was in SLO last weekend. I want to share a little recap of the sermon I heard. If you want to listen to the message, it can be listened to or downloaded from here. It's called "Knowing Him in His People" and it's from the church I used to attend sometimes while I was still in college, Calvary SLO (which you should definitely check out if you're in the area on a Sunday). I took a few notes as well as tweeted with one of my friends, Christian. We like to tweet about the message during church to help share our initial thoughts with the hope that we will reach out to strangers or anyone else who might come across our tweets. I recommend listening to the sermon and then reading the notes/tweets to recap if you'd like.

Notes
Ephesians 1:15-18
  • You cannot say you hate someone and love God.
  • Your love for God means nothing unless you show love for someone else.
  • You have to be so affected by God's love that you cannot help but give love to others. If you want to know what the will of God is, then be thankful.
  • God is blamed for so many things that go wrong, but hardly ever thanked.
  • Take a moment to thank God for the little things in life.
  • God wants us to know the hope to which He has called us.
Ephesians 1:19-23
  • It's the power of God that your faith rests in.
  • The power of God in you is the basis of your faith.
  • You are part of the church which is the body of Christ. You are the representation of God. 
  • You are part of this community and body of God and if you take "time off" away from it, then it not only harms you but the rest of the community.
  • If you are willing to follow god, He is willing to give you everything.

Our Tweets















Feel free to follow us on Twitter!! We don't always tweet about messages from church, but sometimes we have tweets that could give you encouragement when you most need it!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Until next week :)

     Love,

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What's in my Pocket? - February 2014 Edition


Hi guys!!

It's been a really long time since I've had time to go through my Pocket. I have loads of good stuff just sitting there and thought I'd like to share. Sorry I haven't been able to go through these ahead of time but I think it makes it a little more exciting that I haven't filtered them out for you. You may have seen some of these already and some may be old (since they've been just chilling in my Pocket) so hopefully you find something you haven't read/watched already. May at least one of these catch your eye!

Interesting

Buzzfeeds

Technology/Social Media-Related

Hope you enjoyed this month's edition of What's in my Pocket and hope this gave you a glimpse into what interests me :) Feel free to share your own interesting, random articles/videos/links. I'll be excited to check it out!

     Love,

Monday, February 17, 2014

Workouts of the Week: 2/10-2/16

Happy President's Day!!

I have a small announcement! I added a tab on the top of my blog called "The Fit Life". This will consist of all my Workouts of the Week blog posts as well as anything related to a healthy lifestyle. I MAY start adding healthy, easy recipes but for now this is mostly for easy access to the workouts I've been doing.
- - - - - - -
Anyway, my workouts of the week were a little better this week. I actually started a challenge with a couple of my girlfriends. It's called the 30-day Squat Challenge. Feel free to join us! I started my day 1 on Monday of this week so they'll be added to my workouts of the week posts. Here's the challenge if you want to do it yourself:


Now onto my workouts of the week.

Monday - 50 squats

Tuesday - 55 squats

Wednesday - 60 squats



Friday - 70 squats

Saturday - 75 squats & 20 Minute Weight Loss & Fat Burning Yoga Workout. I did the 20 minute yoga workout because it was recommended to me by a friend but I honestly am not a yoga person and I don't think this workout did much for me. I was probably too busy focused on not falling to one side or the other to really relax, pay attention to my breathing, and work out my core. If you like yoga, this workout might be great for you but it's not really my thing personally.


Sunday - 80 squats, 10 situps, Blogilates' Applause Arms Workout, & Legs for Days Cardio Ballet Challenge. I felt like I had been focusing on my butt and abs a lot lately so I decided to focus on the arms and legs today. I didn't have dumbells or weights for the Applause Arms workout so I used a reusable water bottle and a big bottle of lotion but that didn't work as well as I thought it would. Because they were bigger than my hands, it was hard to hold and lift at the same time. For the Cardio Ballet workout, it was hard for me to jump and kick my leg up at the same time so I just held off on jumping. If you can do it, I would encourage you to!





Happy working out!!! 

     Love,

The Weekly Faith: Week 6

In honor of Valentine's Day, I wanted to make this week's Weekly Faith revolve around love. I want to share some of my favorite quotes and verses to inspire and encourage you to love everyone around you and feel loved. 

I hope you enjoy and had a great week and weekend! I hope this post sparks a small dose of faith in you :)
Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear. 1 John 4:18
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34
"Fully loving and fully living are not only synonymous but the kind of life that Jesus invited us to be a part of." Love Does by Bob Goff
"The kind of love Jesus talked about, a love that never grows tired or is completely finished finding ways to fully express itself." Love Does by Bob Goff
"No one cares how much we know unless they also know how much we care." Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Phil Ryken
"If I network for the gospel but have not love, I am only a noisy blog or a meaningless tweet." Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Phil Ryken

     Love,

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Commute Blessings: February Edition

Hi guys!

Because I just moved closer to work, I haven't been able to capture many commute blessings anymore because I no longer have the long commute. But I decided to bring commute blessings back to show photos I haven't posted yet. I think the point of my Commute Blessings blog series was to show the amazing creation God has made for us to see and what good would these photos be if I don't show them? So I'll try to post 10 pictures a month to show you scenery I have been blessed to witness in my months of commuting. 

Hope you enjoy! :)











     Love,

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Workouts of the Week: 2/3-2/9

Hi there!

Unfortunately I only did two workouts this past week. Here they are:

Thursday - I did this workout from Pinterest again. I did it 2x this time instead of 1x. Repeat as many times as you can up to 3x. If you can keep pushing through to 3x, go for it!!

Sunday - I did Blogilates' Flat Belly Fat Burner HIIT Workout. It gets really tough at the end but power through as hard as you can!!! If you need a break, take a quick few seconds to rest and get straight back into it. 


Feel free to share any home workouts that you do. I'm still trying to aim for 3-4 workouts per week. I know I'm still at like 2x a week but getting there! "Train insane or remain the same."

     Love,

Monday, February 10, 2014

Makeup Haul from Grandma's!

Welcome to my first makeup haul from Grandma's! My grandma is one of those ladies who buys really expensive products from beauty companies like Estee Lauder and Shiseido and she'll usually buy it from Macy's when they give out free gift sets for large purchases. The funny thing is that she never even uses the items from the gift sets so she ends up collecting them. Yesterday after our family dinner, she brought them out for my cousin and I to go through and we made out pretty well!! I was so excited that I wanted to share it. 

If you don't know, sometimes the free gift sets come with beauty bags. These are the ones I chose to keep:
Shiseido
Shiseido
Shiseido

Now onto the fun stuff!! All the products that I got :)



Estée Lauder x Lilly Pulitzer cosmetic bottles

01 Black

Estée Lauder Pleasures perfume

Estée Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow
30 Sugar Cube, Satin
13 Tranquil Moon, Satin
26 Iridescent Violet, Satin
09 Amethyst Spark, Shimmer

Estée Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick
16 Candy, Shimmer
186 Tiger Eye
186 Tiger Eye
61 Pink Parfait, Shimmer

Here are the swatches for the lipsticks above. I really liked Candy and Pink Parfait on me. They're like "my lips but better" lipsticks, ones that are more everyday lipsticks. Pink Parfait is like Candy but with more shimmer. Tiger Eye looked like a bronze shimmer and I didn't like how it looked on me. Too bad I have two of them...haha. And I have no idea why the second one looks dark even though they're the same color. 

Hope you enjoyed my makeup haul! :) I may do one for all the recent beauty products I've gotten in the past couple months very soon since they're actually really fun for me to take pictures of and share.

     Love,

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Weekly Faith: Week 5



This week's message was recommended by a close friend and it comes from RealitySF's "A Community Following Jesus" series that started a couple weeks ago. I decided to listen to the second message in this series, called Following Jesus in Community, as my friend said it would be relevant to me. And it definitely was.

My Life in the Context of this Sermon
I haven't been going to church regularly lately with so much going on so I've been relying on listening to messages remotely. My friend called me out on it and suggested this message. Because I haven't been going to church regularly since I haven't found a home church yet, I also don't really have a community in Jesus either. I had a community while I was in college but with everyone spread out post-graduation, it's hard to see that as a community anymore (a common situation for post-grads).

Questions to Ask Yourself
After listening to this message with another friend, we discussed some interesting topics. Here are a few questions I'd like you to ask yourself after listening to the message and spend some time thinking about why your answers are what they are.

1) Do you go to church regularly? Why or why not?
2) Do you have a community that you are part of that follows Jesus? Why or why not?
3) If you have a community, do you believe you are saved into this community?
4) If you have a community, are you devoting yourself to your community? How much time do you devote to community?
5) If you have a community, while you receive encouragement and support, do you also make a point to give back or give into your community?

I know a lot of these questions have to do with whether you actually have a community. However, if you don't have one, these questions aren't meant to be skipped. Really think about why you don't have a community to go to currently and try to find one that's right for you. Join a group at your church or reach out to some Christian friend(s) you may know. After that, revisit these questions again.

My Intentions for these Questions
Why am I telling you what to do when I don't even have a community or home church myself? I know this post seems like I'm telling you what to do as reader, but that's definitely not my intention. I want to help grow others in their faith and encouraging my readers helps me as well. I also felt really convicted sharing this message with you, and I feel pretty embarrassed encouraging others to do all these things when I haven't done so myself. But we're all in it together. We all belong to the same family, and we're all not perfect in our faith. Let's continue to take baby steps together to become better followers of Christ. We may be far apart or we may not even know each other, but this is my baby step in devoting myself to the family of God.

I hope you enjoy this week's message and have a great upcoming week!

     Love,

Workouts of the Week: 1/20-1/26

(Edit: Woops!!! Totally forgot to post this!! It was sitting in my drafts. A little late but here it is!)

Wednesday - During the workweek, I don't really have much time to do workouts with my long commute so I tried this quick 5-minute ab video tonight. Yeah it's 5 minutes long, but don't underestimate!!! It's pretty intense for only 5 minutes. And for every second you work out, you really feel it in your abs. Try it for yourself! It works out both your upper and lower abs which I really like. And I don't have an excuse not to do it when I think I have "no time" to work out.


Saturday - I did this 7-minute workout I found on Pinterest and although it says you can do it up to 3 times, I only did it once. I should've kept going but I needed more energy in me so I went to eat after! I think this workout would be good to repeat 2-3 times ideally because I didn't feel extremely tired or sweaty after one round. Just a note, for the side plank I did 15 seconds on each side.


     Love,

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Workouts of the Week: 1/27-2/2

Alright, I admit. I'm starting to slack off!! I had an amazing workout week before this past week and now this past week I totally slacked off. I only worked out once. Does it count for double if it was done for a good cause? Haha I wish. Hoping to do better this week.

Saturday - Cycled for 1 hour for Cycle for Survival. This was my first time doing anything like a spin class and it wasn't too bad! I'm usually not one to sweat but I sweated like crazy cycling. If you want to learn more about the reason behind why I cycled randomly, check out Cycle for Survival's website here. I cycled for those who are battling, have battled, or have survived rare cancer. Rare cancer funding is lower than funding for other more well-known cancers and it was a great way to raise money for a lesser-known cause.



Hope your weekly workouts are doing better than mine!!

     Love,

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Weekly Faith: Week 4

Sorry I'm so late this week!! This was really supposed to be up last week. I changed my mind last minute on what I wanted last week's Weekly Faith to be because it was originally going to be a message but I want to think about it a little more before I share it. So, this week I'm really excited to share two songs that I am in LOVE with. I've been in love with these two songs for the past couple months.

Song #1: How Sweet the Sound by Citizen Way

You've most likely heard the song Amazing Grace at some point in your life, whether you're Christian or not. This song takes the main line from that song and just adds onto it in a beautiful way. Whenever I hear this song on the radio in the car, I can't help but turn up the volume and sing at the top of my lungs. I just especially love the chorus and can't help but sing. And when I hear it at work, I'm singing in my head.


Song #2: Oceans (Acoustic) by Hillsong United

I just can't help but listen to this cover during work. I just love this song in it's original form and the acoustic version just makes it more calming, relaxing, and real. And as an added plus, this video is almost 10 minutes long which means I don't have to click replay as much when all I want to listen to is this. It's really great to listen to during work because it helps to keep me relaxed and less stressed out. If you've never heard this song before, definitely try it out! Just let yourself go and listen.


Hope you enjoy these two songs and have a great rest of the week!! 

     Love,