Coming Soon! Bicultural Mama is Getting a New Look

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When stores renovate they put up a sign, “Under Renovation, Please Pardon Our Appearance.” This is the virtual version for my blog.

The exciting news is that Bicultural Mama is getting updated. With these “renovations,” Bicultural Mama will have a new look that will be clean, easy to read, and super user friendly.

Bicultural Mama is also moving to the Wordpress platform, so during this transition please pardon our appearance as there may be some hiccups here and there we’ll need to fix once things go live.

Can’t wait to show you our new and improved website…coming soon!


Chococurb Delivers Gourmet Chocolate to Your Door Monthly

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Love chocolate? Definitely!

Love gourmet chocolate? Even better!

Love gourmet chocolate delivered to your door monthly? Bring it on!

Chococurb is a chocolate discovery experience where customers can discover extraordinary chocolate via monthly subscription boxes. Each Chococurb box includes an assortment of five to seven chocolates or chocolate-related items produced by small, local chocolatiers to more established, national brands.

I support small businesses, and was especially proud of Chococurb as it was co-founded by my mentee, Roger Ling. Years ago we connected through our alma mater, the University of Michigan, and since then I’ve seen him grow personally and professionally in the world of business. With his co-founder and co-CEO Kamran Amir Ali, the two have launched this new enterprise focused on fine chocolates.


The Prettie Girls! Hip, Diverse Dolls Provide Alternative to Barbie

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Disclosure: I received a doll to review. All opinions stated are solely my own.

Introducing The Prettie Girls! From left to right: Kimani, Alexie, Lena, Dahlia and Valencia.
Image: The Prettie Girls!

Barbie is a decades old American icon who when created, represented the Caucasian majority of the U.S. Since then the demographics in America have shifted to include a more diverse population. While Barbie has her place in today’s world, she no longer looks like the majority of children in America.

Enter The Prettie Girls! brought to market by The One World Doll Project. These hip, diverse dolls provide an alternative to Barbie. Representing a variety of cultures, interests, and style, "Prettie" stands for P(ositve) R(espectful) E(nthusiastic) T(ruthful) T(alented) I(nspiring) E(xcellent).  

Created by Stacey McBride-Irby who developed Mattel’s first line of African-American dolls called the In Style® dolls, The Prettie Girls! boost positive values and embrace cultural diversity.

Children will love the story of The Prettie Girls! who attend the Dream Academy of Excellence, a school where dreams can come true with hard work. The Prettie Girls!™ represent countries from across the globe and believe that beauty comes from within. They give their best, respect others, earn excellent grades, help their communities, make mindful decisions and take their futures seriously.

Five dolls make up The Prettie Girls! collection: Lena (African-American), Valencia (Latina), Kimani (African), Dahlia (South Asian) and Alexie (Caucasian). The first four are currently available with Alexie coming soon. Additionally, One World Doll’s Prettie Girls! Signature Collector’s line recently launched its first celebrity doll, Cynthia Bailey, entrepreneur and reality TV star featured on Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta™.


Easy Stir Fry Noodles Recipe Using Nasoya Pasta Zero

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Disclosure: I received samples to review. All opinions stated and the recipe included are solely my own.

Easy Stir Fry Noodles Using Pasta Zero
Photo: Maria Adcock
Everyone loves pasta, but all the carbs can pack on the pounds. For those looking for a healthier alternative, Nasoya brings to the market Pasta Zero Noodles.

These noodles are gluten free, all natural, fat free, vegan, and are made with non-GMO ingredients. They boast only 15 calories and 4 grams of carbs per serving – this saves users about 200 calories versus regular pasta.

Instead of being made out of wheat, Pasta Zero is a Shirataki noodle which is a traditional Japanese noodle made from the Konjac plant root. This unique Konjac flour eliminates the “earthy” odor of traditional Shirataki, while providing a more tender texture similar to wheat pasta.


Two Chinese Books for Kids that Keep Traditional Stories Alive

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Disclosure: I received book samples to assess. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Whether your child has a heritage from another country or you just want to teach your children about the world, books that feature stories about places outside of the U.S. are a great way to expose children to other cultures.

I came upon two Chinese books for kids that keep traditional stories alive. They’re a great way to pass down the stories that parents have told their children for generations in China. Both books I mention below were written and illustrated by Mingmei Yip.

Grandma Panda's China Storybook: Legends, Traditions, and Fun

In this book, the stories feature Grandma Panda and her grandchildren Baobao and Lingling. Through Grandma, the grandchildren learn about Chinese calligraphy, kites, kung fu, dim sum and more.

I like that Grandma Panda figure as grandmas are an identifiable figure for kids. Children also love pandas, so put the two together and they create great interest. The illustrations are vivid and cute, and the book teaches about traditional stories in a fun and accessible way for kids.


I Judged Working Moms…Until I Had Kids of My Own

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Before I had kids, I was busy. As a marketing professional at a Manhattan publishing company, I worked long hours including many weekends.

I thought I knew what it was like to be a parent. After all, I starting babysitting at age 13 and saw my sister raise her two kids. I knew it was hard work, but fulfilling. I thought working moms could Have It All and said one day I’d be one of those CEO moms who balanced a career and children.

In hindsight, I didn’t really know what it was like to be a parent, and I judged…until I became one.

One time at work, management assigned me and a co-worker to set up a breakfast meeting and do a PowerPoint presentation for the staff. It required us to arrive an hour earlier to prep the room and practice the presentation. On the day of the meeting, I arrived early, but Jen, my co-worker, was not there. I started doing the prep myself while seething that she was late.

As the meeting time neared, I called her. Jen apologized, saying had trouble getting her kids to school but she was on the train on her way in. I said okay, but was upset that because of her kids I was stuck doing all the work.


Bicultural Mama Top Posts of 2014

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Wow, another year has come and gone. Before we officially say goodbye to this year, here’s a round up of Bicultural Mama Top Posts of 2014.

I’ve broken it out by top posts for the full year and in the past 6 months since results will be different due to length of time since the posts’ publication.

Top Posts of 2014 Overall

Here are my top 6 posts for the entire year. I see some themes such as celebrities (always popular), Asian interests (not surprised given I’m Bicultural Mama) and some personal posts. Click on the title’s name to be brought to the full article.

  1. The Differences between First and Second Pregnancies – This was a post I wrote for Momentum Nation that was picked up by Yahoo. My Bicultural Mama posts gave a recap and then linked to the entire post published in Momentum Nation.
  1. Female Celebrities of Mixed Asian Descent – Celebrities are a popular topic overall. Overlay some demographics and it becomes an interesting read of “Did you know?”
  1. Male Celebrities of Mixed Asian Descent – Here’s the male counterpart to the female post above. Bet you didn’t know about some of these guys!
  1. Marukan Rice Vinegar Boasts 350 Years of Experience – I had no idea Marukan had such a long history. We use rice vinegar all the time in our Asian cooking.
  1. Disney World Redeemed – What a Failed Internship Taught Me – This was a very personal post that I had wanted to write for many years but it just brought back too many bad memories. After a trip to Disney World with my daughter, I was ready to write about it and am glad I finally did!
  1. 50 Unbelievable Facts About Chinese New Year – Everything you wanted to know about Chinese New Year is in this one illustrated infographic.
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