Happy Easter 2015

The kids like to play together while mommy is cooking.
Immy likes to fly!
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Family day at Orchard Park

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Filed under: Family, PDX local |

Immy’s First Birthday

We celebrated Immy’s First Birthday today at Kruger’s Farm in Sauvie Island. Everybody had a great time!

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Check out the entire photo gallery here.

Filed under: Art, Baking, Family, Foodie, Friends, Gardening, PDX local, Travel |

Imogen’s Ninth Month

We have settled into our new home and are getting into a new routine. Marcel is now working less hours so more time for family fun and school. Here are some of the highlights of the month.
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We went out for dinner at La Bottega in Vancouver, WA. She does well when we go out. Just sits in her stroller playing with a toy or watching us.
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We got a new camera this month, the Sony a6000. It is bokehlicious! Immy continues to enjoy being on the Jumperoo. It provides countless entertainment.
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She likes her high chair and laptop.
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We celebrated Daddy’s birthday at Boriken. We ordered the Trifongo with chicken, rice with pigeon peas, empanadas, and guanabana juice.
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She still gets fussy sometimes when she is hungry or ready for her nap.
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For the most part, she likes to play independently. When she wakes up, she talks to herself, plays with her toys then looks over to see us.
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She loves to play with Mulder too but sometimes it’s a bit too much for him…lol
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The obligatory birthday pose :-)

Filed under: Family, Mulder the Dog, PDX local |

Happy Thanksgiving!

November was another exciting month as we watch Immy grow each day! To add to this excitement, her cousin Kane arrived on the 11th of November. We are excited that Immy has someone to grow up together with!

We also got a new-to-us Mazda 5 Mini-Van from my parents. They only needed one car and wanted to us to have their van. When I saw a picture of it being loaded on a trailer on Nov 1st, I felt emotional. I know that it has sentimental value for my parents and I think about their generosity and that they are willing to give it to our family. It arrived on Nov 6th and it was a perfect fit for our family :-)

On the 27th, we met up for dinner with some of my co-workers. She enjoyed it and warmed up to people holding her. I think it is good for her to be exposed to social situations. Here are some other highlights of the month.

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Her first “costume”.
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She likes to laugh a lot.
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Grandma Kathy visited for Thanksgiving. We had a great time cooking, eating, and shopping around. Immy enjoyed playing with her.
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Our delicious Thanksgiving Dinner.
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Immy’s first whiff of espresso.

Filed under: Family, PDX local, Travel |


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My ETSY shop is now open :-) I only have a couple of things there but I am quite proud of them. I designed them from scratch and had my shop technician do the fabrication. Check it out!

Update: I made my first sale on November 14th, only five days after I opened!

Filed under: Art, PDX local, Web |

Creative Designer Marie

This post was taken from the Pacific Northern website with permission from Marie who was featured on their blog. Marie is my lovely sister-in-law, wife of my youngest brother Francis.

PN Designer Feature: Creative Designer Marie Mangona


Creative Designer Marie Mangona knew from an early age that art was her destiny. When it was time for her to choose a major in school, she was torn between graphic design, interior design, and industrial design. In the end, she chose industrial design because she was fascinated by how “you start from nothing.”


After graduating from college in the Philippines, Marie moved to the United States, where she eventually joined Pacific Northern as a mechanical designer. When there was an opening for a creative design position, she got a chance to use her creativity as well as technical skills to bring large-scale projects to life. Her favorite part of a new project is understanding her clients’ brand identity, and she loves getting to know clients she’s never worked with before. Her favorite projects are those with a strong theme because she can use her creativity to make her client’s unique vision a reality. She also loves working on projects for children’s products, and she has a reputation for being the go-to designer for cute things.


While her work revolves around industrial design, Marie has found ways to express her passion for graphic design and interior design in her life outside PN. She regularly does graphic design work for her church, and she loves using her interior design skills to make her home special and inviting.


Marie describes her style as playful and whimsical, though she also loves nature and using natural elements within a refined aesthetic. She’s a DIY enthusiast and enjoys making new things with a variety of materials and techniques. Some of her favorite materials are wood, cork, canvas, burlap, shells, stones, and leaves- anything with interesting patterns and textures.


Marie loves to know the story behind a design or piece of artwork, and understanding how it was inspired and created gives her a deeper appreciation for it. Above all, though, Marie draws inspiration from her faith. “When I look around me and see everything that God created, I am humbled,” she says. “It makes me want to create too, even though I know what I’m making is so small compared to what He has made.”


She also has a passion for going to coffee houses, and she’s “obsessed” with hot air balloons, pottery, and terrariums. She and her husband enjoy going to estate sales, hiking, biking, and spending time outdoors.


Filed under: Art, Family, Fitness, Foodie, Travel, Web | Tagged , , , , |

40 and 4

40. Such a big number! I’ve always thought I would do something “big” for this milestone like travel to an exotic destination, or buy a nice car, maybe get a graduate degree. But I’ve already been to many countries – some more exotic than others, love my trusty Honda Civic (15 years and counting!), and have a career that I like – at least most days. But God had other plans for me. He gave me more than I could ever ask for – miracle baby Imogen. I am grateful for everything I have and everyone in my life especially my family. My cup is overflowing :-)

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We kept things simple as far as celebrations go. I got a massage on Saturday, went to church on Sunday, then lunch at Baker and Spice. I didn’t make a cake but instead got a Pumpkin cake from Decadent Creations. I really wanted the Salty Dog Cake but they were out that day. Francis and Marie sent us these beautiful matching skirts made be Le Pepin. It was so much fun to dress up together :-)

For a while I was getting less sleep because we were on a “Breaking Bad” marathon. On weekends and sometimes weekdays, we would watch up to 4 episodes in one sitting. We enjoyed watching it even though it was quite violent. The writing was brilliant and the actors were outstanding.

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Immy turned 4 months old on Oct 21st. She has grown very interactive especially in the morning. She wakes up and talks to herself in her crib until I pick her up. On weekends, we chat for a little while then I feed her. I still nurse her once or twice a day when she wants to. It is our mother and child bonding time. She is a good sleeper and continues to sleep through the night, sometimes up to 9 hours. Marcel and I have established a pretty good routine.

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As I turn 40, I look forward to new opportunities. Life is full of changes and maybe it is time for me to get out of my comfort zone. I have been in the same job for the last 7 years. While I like the work, my priorities have shifted since Immy was born. How appropriate that in 2015, the facility I work in will be closing and I was blessed to be one of the affected employees. I would love to work from home while watching Immy. As I told Katie – my intern last summer, “the world is your oyster” I see myself in the same boat. I am excited about the future and what it holds for our newly – expanded family.

Filed under: Family |

Imogen’s Third Month

I went back to work on the day after labor day. I had mixed feelings about it. I missed Immy but also glad to be back to a normal routine. I felt like myself again. I would go home during my lunch break to see her and sometimes feed her. Marcel would take a break and walk Mulder. Some days I had to stay at work for lunch meetings but mostly I am able to go home for an hour or so. Marcel continued to work in the evenings after I got home from work.
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I was also glad to be exchanging harvests again :-)
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Immy woke up with a huge smile on the morning of August 31st. That was the beginning of daily smiles from her. She is crying less often, likely because she was feeling confident that her needs would be met whether she was hungry, sleepy, or simply uncomfortable. We received several gift cards and cash which allowed us to buy a rocker, a swing, and a music box among other things to add to her arsenal of baby soothing equipment. She likes the moving mobile and mirror on the swing. It provided entertainment when she got bored. The rocker was good for napping but she still felt more comfortable in the crib.
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We took Immy to the beach for the first time when Aunt Patti visited on Sept 19th. She did well, just relaxed when awake and slept when tired. We had a great time exploring Cannon Beach and Seaside. Mulder turned 7 that day so we bought him some treats at Puppy Love by the Sea. The next day we explored Portland. It was hot so she slept through most of it. Dinner was at APNA Bazaar. Unfortunately, Immy went on a crying spell in the middle of dinner. We had to pack up our food and headed home which was only a couple of miles away. On Sept 21st, Aunt Patti’s last day in Portland, Immy turned 3 months old. We enjoyed her visit and family time.
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It seems like it was only yesterday when we took Immy home from the hospital. Look how much she has grown!
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Blueberry Season

It has been a very busy summer for us so we missed our annual wild blackberry picking outing at Oak Island. If you’ve never tried the blackberries from there, you are missing out. They are the best blackberries I’ve ever had! We would typically take home about 10-15 pounds plus whatever we ate along the way. Mulder even likes to join us and much on them as we hike the trail.

I did not want to miss out on the flavors of the berries so I picked up some blueberries and blackberries from the farmers’ market. Out of a half-flat container, I was able to make a pie, some ice cream, and of course the all-too familiar jam.

For the Blueberry Pie, I used my favorite crust recipe from Smitten Kitchen. The pie recipe was from All Recipes.

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The ice cream recipe was from White on Rice Couple.

After straining the puree, I added a bit of sugar on the remaining pulp until it thickened up into jam.

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All done in between taking care of 2-month old Immy.

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I think I’m getting the hang of this :-)

Filed under: Baking, Family, Foodie, Gardening, Mulder the Dog, PDX local, Travel | Tagged , , , , , |

Imogen’s Second Month

Lolo and Lola (my parents) met Immy for the first time on the 2nd day of August. I brought mom some flowers and picked them up at the airport. When mom first saw Immy, she was surprised by how small she was. She was excited to hold her for the first time.
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The next day, we moved into a new house. We loved the new house. It fits our needs better and it is much more comfortable and family-friendly. Mom and Dad liked the house too. We spent the week cooking, eating, watching movies, going around town but mostly just staying home with Immy. Mom really missed Immy when they left so I started sending pictures and videos on What’s App where the whole family can exchange messages and media.Lola and Lolo 119
It was also around this time when Marcel started a new part-time job in the evenings. Our plan was for him to watch Immy during the day then go to work most nights of the week. This arrangement worked really well for us.
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We also got more comfortable taking Immy out. One of those days we spent walking the trail at Commonwealth Lake Park. It was a nice day and it was the first time we felt like a family going out on a typical weekend.
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Filed under: Family, Foodie, PDX local, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , |