keeping busy during rainy days by doing arts & crafts with H. We started our first subscription to Koala Kiwi Crate during Christmas and this is the first one we’ve done together. He is still too young to do the crafts by himself, so there’s plenty of assistance needed from mama.

checking out books from the library. Picture above is my stack for the month, which I picked up this week

brunching with my girlfriends. We celebrated Amie’s birthday this past weekend and we met up for brunch at The Attic in Long Beach

deciding where to travel for my birthday. I’m looking into a family trip to either Vancouver, San Francisco or Chicago. I love planning trips, it gives me something to look forward to

using my treadmill again,  we lugged it around from the last house to our current house and after 2.5 years, I’m turning it back on again. Sigh!  Thank you Netflix and Hulu, you make treadmills more fun :)

going thru a pom-pom phase? Is that a thing? I enjoy making them, and added them to our Christmas decor last year. I’m currently making pom-poms with Valentine’s day colors. I want to celebrate the little things in life and included in that, making festive, cheap and diy decor for holidays (small or big) throughout the year

drinking chocolate macaroon tea from David’s tea. It taste like a treat to me, without actually eating dessert after dinner

looking forward to have family and friends over for Super Bowl Sunday. Let’s be honest, I’m really more excited for the half-time show, commercials and the food.

watching SUITS again, it’s back this week!

{recipe} orange and dark chocolate bread

I feel like I’m getting my baking mojo back. I didn’t bake much during the holidays, which usually is the busiest time in my kitchen, so maybe I’m making up for it now?  It’s also because I’ve organized my pantry and now all my baking supplies are in one place and gathering all the ingredients are streamlined and efficient.

orange and dark chocolate bread (1)

I love baking quick breads because it’s easy and quick to assemble, and the usual baking time of 45-60 minutes allow me some downtime to make some tea or do some reading while it’s warm in the kitchen.  The kitchen being warm is only appreciated a few months of the year around here, January thru March and October thru December.

We are supposed to be experiencing El Nino this year, so there will be plenty of rainy weekends and spending time indoors until the summer. I don’t mind it actually, it feels cozy at home when it rains (at least for now).

This quick bread includes orange zest and we have plenty of citrus around, everyone around us seems to be giving away lemons and oranges galore. I’ll take it all!


orange and dark chocolate bread (5


I’ve adapted the recipe by cutting half of the sugar, because I wanted to be less of a dessert tasting bread, but more towards tea bread. I added coconut sugar on top to add crunch and cut back on the mini dark chocolate chips to 1/3 cup. I also cut the ginger in half.

orange and dark chocolate bread 6


I brought a few slices to work to share with colleagues, and got a few “this is an interesting flavor combo” comments. I wasn’t surprised with the comments, because I think even for me, this is the first time I’ve baked with this flavor combo. I’m sure I’ve tasted it before.

The orange zest gives it a light and refreshing taste.

orange and dark chocolate bread (2)


Crunchy top from the coconut sugar.

orange and dark chocolate bread (3)

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Orange & Dark Chocolate Quick Bread



1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk
zest of 1 orange
3/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup coconut sugar (optional for toppings)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a glass loaf pan with non stick spray and set aside.

2. In a large large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, baking powder and ground ginger. In a second bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla, milk and orange zest. Pour wet mixture into the dry and stir until combined. Toss dark chocolate chips with remaining 2 tablespoons of flour then gently fold them into batter.

3. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

4. Allow bread to cool completely before removing from the pan. Slice and serve!

(recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction)


orange and dark chocolate bread (5)

meal prep / 2


  Here are the items I’ve prepped recently.   This baked chicken  is a favorite in our house. The little man loves it too, so I bake it in large batches and freeze the leftovers. I first made the recipe when I did the Whole 30, and have made it several times since then. I’ve […]

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    stocking up the freezer with healthy treats for me and for H’s school snack. We also like to bring healthy (decadent treats) for when we visit my brothers on weekend afternoons. watching our first 4D movie as a family. It was H’s first time watching movie at a theatre, he lasted about 20 […]

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book report / Jan 2016


        Maybe Someday by Coleen Hoover – Reading this book was an experience. This is the first book I’ve read from this author, as well as the first book I’ve read with a soundtrack. I listened to the soundtrack for free on Amazon (I have Amazon Prime) while reading the book. This […]

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weekend links / 2


    – Something that I keep reminding myself over and over….that it’s ok to say NO – One of my goals for January was to pack my lunch everyday for work. Here are some good ideas if you want to do the same in the future…..lunches to make ahead for work – I love […]

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{recipe} honey almond granola


  My toddler is starting to show interest in cooking. He watches me whenever I’m in the kitchen, cooking, baking and prepping. Mama, what’s that? I’m cutting onions. I love onions. I want some. (Grabs raw onions and take a bite. Sames goes for cauliflower, tomatoes and any fruit he sees me cutting). Weekends are […]

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  Here’s what we have been up to lately…..   We had a brunch gathering on New Year’s Day at my sister’s house. We ate and chatted while watching the Rose Parade on TV. Which one was our favorite float?….DISNEY!! (of course). I loved seeing the characters walking along side the children, and the fireworks […]

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    drinking tea every day. I drink caffeinated tea first thing in the morning and I have a sweeter flavored tea after dinner. I received David’s Tea sampler during Christmas and I am loving drinking each flavor and discovering my favorites. having a hard time getting back to a workout routine. I’m hoping signing […]

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meal prep / 1


Doing some kind of meal planning on the weekend is my saving grace. Most nights, I don’t get home from work until around 6:30. My toddler’s bedtime is 8pm, so that doesn’t leave me a lot of quality time with him in the evenings. If I prep food on Sundays (and mid week on Wednesdays), […]

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