7/16/14

Mom’s Easy Dan Ta Recipe (Chinese Egg Tart)

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One of my favorite childhood Chinese pastries is Dan Ta, or egg tart. They’re a staple in Chinese bakeries. We’d eat them for breakfast, at Dim Sum, as a snack or for dessert.

Traditional Dan Ta recipes require you to make the dough which is tasty, but adds time. My mom’s adapted recipe is ideal for those who want the taste of homemade Dan Ta, but may not have the time or cooking expertise to create bakery-perfect tarts. I fall into this latter category, and as such was excited to give my mom’s easy and convenient Dan Ta recipe a try.

7/13/14

Babyganics Organic Sunscreen Products Make Summer Fun Safe for the Whole Family

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Disclosure: I received samples to assess for this post. All opinions are my own.

It’s the peak of the summer which means lots of fun in the sun. But getting a sunburn is no fun and not safe for anyone in the family. The good news is that babyganics, a line of organic, eco-friendly, non-toxic baby-safe personal care and home products, offers a broad selection of sunscreen products.

I had the opportunity to review a few of its sunscreen products. What I especially like about babyganics is that all of its SPF formulas are either pure mineral or mineral-based. They also provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and are non-allergenic, tear free and waterproof. The products have also never been tested on animals.

Though the product name has “baby” in it, these sunscreen products are ideal for anyone. Our whole family used the samples I received. After all, even adults can benefit from non-toxic products.

Here’s a summary of the products I sampled. Both were free of PABA, phthalates, parabens, fragrances and nano-particles. They also were water resistant (80 minutes) and pediatrician and dermatologist tested.

7/10/14

Mei-Mei's Lucky Birthday Noodles: A Loving Story of Adoption and Chinese Culture with Recipe

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Disclosure: I received a copy to assess for this post. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

One of my favorite childhood foods was my mom’s birthday noodles. On our special day, mom would cook up a massive plate of Chinese noodles accented with vegetables and chicken.

Noodles are eaten for good luck and represent a long and happy life. Mom never used a recipe because she just knew from experience how to make the delicious birthday noodles. It’s a dish she still makes today decades later.

When I came upon a new children’s book that called Mei-Mei's Lucky Birthday Noodles [Tuttle Publishing], it brought me back to my childhood. Written by Shan-Shan Chen and illustrated by Heidi Goodman, the story introduces children ages 4 to 8 to the Chinese tradition of eating lucky birthday noodles on your special day.

However, it’s more than just a story about noodles. The book is also a loving story of adoption and how Mei-Mei’s parents strive to keep her Chinese culture as part of her life.

7/7/14

Lexikeet Offers Mandarin Chinese Online Language Program for Older Kids and Adults

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Disclosure: I received complimentary access to Lexikeet for one month to assess for this post. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Learning a new language as an older child or adult is known to be more challenging versus young children whose brains are wired to easily absorb languages. In the past I've reviewed several Chinese language learning programs that included DVDsCDs and other tools, but these have all been geared towards young children.

Ideally the best way for people to learn another language is through immersion, but not everyone can afford the time or money to move to another country. The other options of tutoring and language classes can be cost prohibitive. Several online programs are available, but do they work?


I came upon a recently-launched language program called Lexikeet that was designed for older children and adults, and I had the opportunity to try out the Mandarin Chinese version. Lexikeet features a parakeet mascot named Lexi who guides you through the exercises. It offers lessons in Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and English.

7/2/14

Ways to Make Money Off of Your Clutter

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I was inspired to write a post about decluttering because in the last few weeks I’ve gone through the entire house to recycle, purge or sell items we no longer needed.

Currently in my last few weeks of my pregnancy, I’m aware that the baby books call this strong desire to organize and declutter as “nesting.” Perhaps this is what’s happening, but to me it’s more the practicality of knowing that once baby comes there will be no time, perhaps for months or even years, to really clean out the house thoroughly.

I’ve been active the last few years with selling my clutter. Whether it’s on Ebay, Craigslist or a local Facebook group, I’ve been able to get rid of my nicer things and make some money at the same time. Though some items only sell for $5, $10 or $20 bucks, it’s money that didn’t exist before, and I feel better that these items will be reused instead of sitting in a landfill for decades had I just thrown them out.

I’ve shared my tips on the MOMentum Nation website on ways to make money off of your clutter, and all of these are based on my own personal experiences.

Click Here to read the article, and find out how you can get your clutter to make you some money!

6/29/14

Cozy Wall Art Offers Original Wall Decal Designs that Don’t Damage Walls

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The finished product with a very happy little girl!
Photo: Maria Adcock
Disclosure: I received samples to assess. All opinions are solely my own.

Looking to decorate your walls without the mess of paint, wallpaper or time-consuming stencils? Peel and stick wall decals are an alternate solution, and they’re removable, too, without damaging the walls.

Cozy Wall Art is a family owned business that creates and produces its own original vinyl wall art in a tiny Texas studio. Its high quality, affordable wall decals have a matte finish and as a result will look like they’ve been painted on your wall.

Wall decals can be an easy way to accent and liven up the house from kids’ rooms and family rooms to dining rooms and kitchens. I had the opportunity to try a Cozy Wall Art decal which we decided to use in our daughter’s bedroom. Her walls were a plain light green color, and we chose the Set of Flowers in Pots design since she loves flowers. For each design, Cozy Wall Art offered a large variety of colors to choose from. Since pink was my daughter’s favorite color, we ordered the decal with pink pots and flowers.

6/26/14

Asian Children's Books from Tuttle Publishing

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

Once in a while I hear of a children’s book published that features an Asian theme. What I didn’t know is that there’s a whole collection already out there in one place through Tuttle Publishing, an independent publisher of Asian-interest books and maps. Its Fall 2014 collection includes 125 Asian children’s books for newborns through teens.

I’m always on the lookout for how to keep my daughter’s Asian heritage alive in our bicultural family. Reading children’s books to her with an Asian theme is a great way to achieve that. Here are some of the titles I received.
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