Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my wonderful hubby who is an amazing dad and also finds the energy to put up with my crazy. I love you! Thank you for your patience, strength and love. Parker truly appreciates it when you play pretend transformers, superheroes and let him use you as a jungle gym. You are the best and we hope you like your new Weber grill!

I also want to wish a Happy Father's Day to Papa Chu. Thank you for teaching me the value of hard work, teaching me to not be afraid of getting my hands dirty and instilling in me the importance of letting loose! Anyone who knows my dad knows he's always up for a party. The picture below is one of my absolute favorites of us together. I love you, Daddy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

DIY: Bacon Jam Father's Day Gifts

As promised, I whipped up a BIG batch of bacon jam to give to all the special dads (and some non-dads *ahem Brandon*) that I know. So much bacon. So many onions. I walked around smelling like bacon and onions all day Saturday. Here is my spin on the original post from Fork Spoon Bacon. Happy gifting, Mamas!

Bacon Jam (I made this recipe x 3)
1 1/2 pounds of thick cut bacon, chopped
2 teaspoons of butter
4 large yellow onions, diced
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup of water
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil

1. Cook bacon in heavy-bottom pot over medium heat until bacon is crispy. Pour bacon and rendered fat into a strainer placed over bowl. When fat is drained and bacon is cool enough to handle, remove bacon and chop.
2. Return pot to medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons of bacon fat and butter to the pot. Saute diced onions and 1 teaspoon of salt until soft and translucent.
3. Stir brown sugar, sherry vinegar, 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves, black pepper, and cayenne into onion mix. Add bacon, mix. Add water, mix. Cook until jam is brick-brown bacon color and has a jam consistency (10-15 mins).
4. Remove from heat and stir in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of thyme in jam.

Materials needed for packaging
1/2 pint jars from Walmart. Larger jars are available but I don't want to be blamed for any clogged arteries.
Twine, string or cording in desired color
Jam spread knives from Amazon
Labels from Fork Spoon Bacon
Packing tape for attaching labels to jars

Cut labels to size and secure them to the jars using packing tape.
Fill the jars and wait for them to completely cool before putting the lids on. 
Tie the jam spreaders to the jars using cording.
Refrigerate until ready for gifting.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Father's Day: DIY Gift Ideas

Listen up ladies and gents! Father's Day is coming up and your days of securing the perfect gifts for the men in your life are numbered. Since I DIY'ed gifts for Mother's Day this year, I will also be DIYing gifts for Father's Day. The project? Homemade bacon jam. I first made bacon jam a few months ago for a friendly Grilled Cheese Sandwich cook off and have been craving it ever since. It tastes good on errrrthang. I'll be quadrupling this Boozy Bacon Jam recipe by Spoon Fork Bacon just in case, you know, I need a snack or something. Now I'm off to buy 4 pounds of bacon.

[Boozy Bacon Jam by Spoon Fork Bacon with free printables and instructions.]

Other Fun DIY Ideas for Dad

[DIY Father's Day Typography Glasses from Mr. Printables]

[Printable Father's Day Gift Wrap from Almost Makes Perfect]

[DIY Etched Glass Beer Growler from Apartment Therapy. SUCH a great idea considering how many micro brew places there are in San Diego.]

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

DIY: Wall Hanging for the Coolest Kid in Town

Wall hangings. They are all the rage in home decor right now. It's true, just click on this link from Apartment Therapy. I spotted this gorgeous monochromatic hanging on This Cool Kid  and decided to create my own version of it for Parker's room. It's a fairly simple project that could probably be completed in an hour if you have 1 hour to spare. If you're like me and do not have an hour to spare, it will take 3 weeks. Happy Crafting!

Materials Needed:
-Black felt, white felt, coordinating cotton fabric, sewing machine and thread.
-Print out of the quote you want to put on your hanging. I liked the graphic look of this bold font. 
-Freezer paper, pen, iron
-Micro tip scissors
-Wooden dowel cut to size, black cording, craft paint, paint tape
-Craft glue
Optional: A little yarn to make the tassel to make this an ultra-pinterest project.

Step 1: Trace your quote onto the non-wax side of a piece of freezer paper. 

Step 2: Iron your freezer paper waxy side down onto the white felt. This makes the felt 1000% easier to cut. 

Step 3: Cut out all the letters using your micro tip scissors. A super sharp pair of scissors is key to making it easier to get in all the nooks and crannies of your letters.

Step 4: Assemble the hanging. Cut the black felt and cotton fabric to the desired size then cut 1 inch off the top of the cotton fabric.  I chose make my wall hanging about the size of a piece of paper (8.5 x 11). Sew the two pieces together leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Flip inside out. 

Step 5: Glue the quote onto the black felt. 

Step 6: Secure the hanging to the dowel using craft glue.

Step 7: Wrap the cording around both ends of the dowel and secure with craft glue or by sewing it.


Paint ends of dowel to add a pop of color.

Create yarn tassel to attach to dowel.

Here's the final product hanging on the wall in Parker's room. I love how it turned out and I'm glad I added the tassel and that little bit of yellow paint to add a pop of color. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mommy Fitness: Fitbit Charge HR Review

I'm obsessed. I admit it. I'm obsessed. Tuan gave me a Fitbit Charge HR for Mother's Day and I have since become a slave to counting my steps and checking my heart rate. Every morning I wake up and think about all the steps I will take during my day. I try to think of more ways to sneak in additional steps. I strategize about how I can beat my friends' step counts so I can win the work week hustle. I think of the joy I will feel when I hit my goal of 15,000 steps and my Fitbit congratulates me by vibrating and flashing on my wrist. I can't stop checking my stats. The struggle is real. In the three (almost) three weeks I have worn my Fitbit, I have walk/run 117 miles. That's over half of the 200 mile goal I set for the whole of 2015.

I understand this sounds crazy but as long as it's keeping me motivated to move I am a fan! Do you have a Fitbit? Have you had the same experience?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

San Diego: Parker's New Grill & a Review of Scripps Pediatric Dentistry

Before you start reading this post, press play.

[Oh yea. Bump that sweet Nelly jam.] 

At Parker's 2 year dental check up, we found out he would need 2 crowns and a filling. Just going in for a cleaning is a traumatic experience for everyone involved, I could only imagine how terrible two crowns and a filling would be. But the work was necessary so we agreed to have him put under to keep things as pleasant as possible. Tuan and I were both very nervous about the procedure but everything went really well and now Parker's smile is fixed! His new grill looks great (see right pic below). In the left pic you can see how half his front right tooth and the one next to that was badly cavitated. 

[Had to rob a jewelry store to pay for his grill.]

We took Parker in at 6:00 AM for his 6:30 AM appointment. Parker played at the train table while we filled out paperwork. He was examined by the anesthesiologist, Dr. Johnson, and then was taken to a room in the back. Tuan and I enjoyed the massage chairs and some sweet pop jams in the lobby while we waited anxiously. By 7:30 AM he was all done albeit very groggy and hilariously out of it. He spent most of the day sleeping but was back to his normal self by dinner time.

I want to say thank you to the staff at Scripps Pediatric Dentistry for your professionalism. Special thanks to Dr. J and Dr. Johnson for taking good care of our little man. If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in San Diego, I highly recommend Dr. J. He always takes the time to explain everything thoroughly and has great advice.

Gossip: Per Dr. Johnson, Dr. J loves Ace of Base. Ha!

Scripps Pediatric Dentistry
9840 Hibert Street Suite B-4
San Diego, CA 92131
(right next to Chuck E Cheese and Trader Joe's off the 15)

Enjoy this hilarious video of Parker waking up from his procedure. He's rocking those Avengers pajamas like a boss.
A video posted by Mary Chu (@sdmama33) on

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