Thursday, August 29, 2013

Daily Dining - Seared Tofu with Black Bean Salsa



This was last night's dinner. I actually did not make this simple yet delicious meal. Sean made this simple meal for us to enjoy. Lately, I have been eating incredibly unhealthy and then two nights ago it hit me that I could not do it anymore. I felt so disgusting eating (buffalo wings) that evening. Sean talked me into starting all over and doing a reset. I am trying to cut down my crappy eating by focusing on healthy food. I am going to put together a weekly menu of the food we eat and hopefully I can add the recipes to it from there.

I love tofu, believe me I do. I can live off of eating this everyday, but it has to be prepared differently. Otherwise, to me it would be eating the same meal everyday. I don't plan on eating or living off of tofu daily, but I plan on incorporating it as a huge part of my diet. My main goal is how many different ways can we cook tofu. How many different ways can we prepare it and serve it?

I am still debating if I should start a new fitness blog or just incorporate it here. Decisions, decisions..

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Update and Review - Gardening


I want to share with you my mini review and experience with SeedsNow. A few weeks ago I purchased these sample seeds from At first I was hesitant because I was reading that if you are a beginner with gardening it probably is not best that you plant seeds. It is better to go with something that is already grown and learn to care for it first. Then I was bouncing from different gardening blogs and came across this guy (I apologize I forgot his blog) who has been gardening and he lives in a small apartment. He talks about how he makes it work and how he cares for his plant. He had great reviews and points for SeedsNow and it led me to try out a few sample packs.

As mentioned I was hesitant at first because I was not sure why the 3 previous plants that I bought from Lowes did not seem to be getting any love. They were watered twice a day to avoid getting dehydrated, but parts of it seem to die. It was not recently did I see that there are new blooms and I just need to continue cutting off the weeds. I shelled out the $5.00+ for shipping and handling to try out these samples. I received a free sample of the buttercrunch lettuce and decided to try that out first. In the beginning I did not notice it at all. The packages have labels that tell you approximately how long it would take for it to sprout.

This is the work of about 2 weeks if not more or less. I do the same thing that I have with the other plans and water it twice a day. You wouldn't believe how thrilled I was that even as a beginner I was able to achieve this and so far no bugs have been around it. I am going to move it to a bigger pot and add some compost with egg shells to avoid any creepy crawlers in the future.

I copied this off their site about who they are:

Growing your own ORGANIC & NON-Genetically Modified (NON-GMO) food isn’t hard to do. Seriously. It's not.  In fact, it's actually pretty easy

They are very big about their seeds being GMO free. So I would have to say that their shipping and handling is great. The samples come in these small ziploc bags with a label and the expectant time to see the seedling sprout. I would absolutely recommend them! The prices are not bad at all. If you are hesitant you should purchase a few samples to try out. I purchased a few samples and shipping for 7-10 business days was $1.95. You could pay the $5.00 if you want it to get to you in 3-4 business days.

I am not big when it comes to writing reviews, but I wanted to share about my gardening experience with seeds. I feel a little more confident about the garden I am trying to grow. Fall will be coming and I am doing a bit more research on the types of veggies and herbs I can grow during that type of weather.

It may take some time to grow and I know that I am just starting out, but my main goal is to have healthy produce grown in our little garden. This will save us lots of money in the long run if all works well. That means that we do not have to constantly buy tons of produce every time. I know that we would have to continuously grow a lot of it to be able to really save money, but at least this gives me an idea of what to expect and how long to expect it. I ordered a few more seeds and I can't wait to get them. I am in the market to find bigger containers to grow them in.

As far as my gardening is concerned I feel like they are doing swell! I love that I get to go outside everyday and stare at them for a few minutes. I get to glance at the new sprouts and just admire the beauty of it. I am no pro, but I bet you can tell that I am a beginner. I am so happy about the smallest sprouts and I am determined to continue. I didn't think that this would be something that I would be interested in since I am not the type of person that enjoys getting down and dirty.

Yesterday I decided to buy a few more samples. They are different varieties of herbs and chilli's. I haven't bought more than just the samples because I want to see if it is something that I want to grow a lot of. I want to be able to sample and get my hands dirty with what I have before committing.   I am going to purchase bigger containers to transfer the plants once they get bigger. Sean and I went to Lowe's last night and bought a few more items for me to get the other seeds started. I am excited to start seeing them sprout! Some of them will take 2-5 days for us to see the sprout and the rest will take about 7-14 days.


They look a bit messy because I just watered them, but I am so happy to see these little boxes all filled up. This weekend I am going to get a few more plants and I am going to make sure I document everything!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Coffee Mondays


Hey everyone! This is the first linkup I have for ItsAbbyTime. It's called Coffee Mondays. I want to thanks Kathy from Vodka and Soda. She had a post up sometime last week about what kind of conversation would you have with her if you were to go out and have coffee. It sparked a light bulb in my head to start Coffee Mondays.

Coffee Mondays is a linkup where you can write about your Monday. What are you thinking of before or after you get your cup of jo. Perhaps you can spend your coffee Mondays about rants going on in the office for the week, or better yet what kind of conversation would you have with someone on a coffee Monday.

  • Work always see so stressful the moment you walk in on a Monday. I have this routine where I walk in and chat with my coworker for a bit about her weekend and go back to my desk. The moment I sit down I end up getting sucked into work mode. I barely take my breaks or lunches. I end up eating lunch or taking my break at my desk while working. Yes, it gets that busy.

  • I spent my whole Sunday cleaning and doing laundry. Can you believe that I am not even done yet? I honestly felt like super mom since I was all over the place toggling different jobs all day. Being a mom can be so tiring, but so rewarding at the same time. Yes, I spent the whole day cleaning but at the same time the perks of it being able to walk around a nice clean home which makes me feel relaxed at the end of the day. I hate chaos. I'm a very unorganized person and so I really need to keep myself on check. Otherwise, I would let things sit wherever they were left.

  • I am slowly getting into the whole gardening thing. Last I wrote a post about my plants I just started. It's a bit weird because there are parts of the plants that are dying, but there are also new sprouts. They are so strong and well worth continuing. I was so impressed with the three plants and my lettuce that is growing that I planted some garlic and Alfalfa Sprouts. I can already think of a few recipes I want to use the sprouts for!

  • I am excited to get curtains this weekend. We have two huge windows in the dining area and the living room. I am excited to finally measure and get some curtains up. I will also be putting the same curtains up in the bedroom. Ryu's room already came with the curtain rod and the drapes so we really didn't have to do anything there. However, I am excited because every time I have money I tend to forget to get it done, and I end up not having the funds later on down the line to do it. I am determined to get this done this weekend.

  • I ordered prints online. I tried out this new company. I will do a review once I receive the pictures in the mail. I was able to order 100 free prints and all I have to pay for was the shipping and handling which was around $6.00. If you divide that it's about $0.16 per picture. I still didn't have to pay for the actual print so I save money on that plus the shipping and handling. Hopefully I like it! I am excited to start scrap booking. I have been lagging it long enough.

 Come join me and link up your coffee Monday post!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pork Sinigang (Filipino Sour Soup)

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Last Sunday my friend Erika and I got together with the kiddos to have lunch together and go swimming. I offered to make Sinigang and Lumpia to go along with the soup. Erika has never made Sinigang before and wanted to learn. I will talk about the lumpia that she help make in another post. Sinigang is a Filipino soup or stew characterized by its sour and savory flavor most often associated with tamarind (sampalok). It is one of the popular viands in Philippine cuisine. This dish is one of the very few Filipino dishes I know how to whip up.

I grew up in a Filipino household, but was never completely fond of all the Filipino dishes. Throughout the years I became aware of the very few dishes that I enjoyed. I made sure that I knew how to make it myself. I have also made this dish in a Vegan version. I will post that recipe some other time as well.

This is so delicious with rice. You can cook this soup with shrimp, fish, beef, chicken, or tofu.

[yumprint-recipe id='4']This is so easy to make. The only part of it that becomes time consuming is the boiling of the meat. The reason that I boil it first before cooking it with all the vegetables is to get rid of that odd pork flavor. I want to make sure that all the excess fat that can be boiled off will be removed. You can also add more veggies to this such as daikon, potatoes, spinach if you do not have pechay and so forth. I used what I did because I did not find what I needed to at the grocery store for this recipe.

I used a pack and a half of the tamarind packet because I prefer it to be extremely sour. However, you can control this by putting a little at a time. You do not have to have this soup extremely sour or spicy, but it is preferable that way.

Thanks to my friend Erika for helping me make the soup. I was in the process of giving Sean's sister a haircut and since she wanted to learn I took advantage of that, ha! I was directing her along the way. She seemed to have done perfectly fine. It really is not a difficult dish to make.


here is a picture of the kiddies as they were waiting to eat before they went swimming. Of course we waited for a bit before they took a dip. They didn't last very long since they had food coma! ha

Facebook Controversy

People are so fat, it's disgusting. Yes I said it, I'm angry!! #youcanthandlethetruth - Facebook Post by Unknown

This is what headlined on my Facebook feed this morning. I read the back and forth responses of the person that wrote this and the people that didn't seem quite happy with the comment. To be honest I sat at my desk reading the different responses are and as it seemed to have gotten heated I almost wanted to comment, but did not. I am friends with this person that wrote this and do I think that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, well yes. However, I don't think that I would be so bold to have posted that. I won't post the details of the responses received on Facebook, but I was wondering what your opinion was if this is something you saw first thing in the morning.

The person that wrote this is a writer. In fact the point that was coming across after they explained seemed legit. However, the wording seemed wrong. I agree that this is in fact a super bold statement. I would never say this out loud in public or post it anywhere if I was not open to criticism or people putting in their two cents. Let's just say that the conversation got heated and someone was called ignorant for even posting words of that opinion for people to say something about. Then the topic of being bulimic and anorexic came up which frankly to be honest had nothing to do with the actual words written.

In a sense truth is I slightly felt offended by this comment. Though the back story to why this opinion was, made sense; the actual wording did not. Some people would disagree and say it is the meaning behind it that matters the most. Sure, that matters but really with a comment like that it does not look like the meaning behind it would still be a good excuse to say it. I am mildly offended because I have never been skinny, fit, fat (in a sense of being obese), or disgusting. I am in the middle. I have hit a point where I lost so much weight that I in fact became unhealthy. I pushed myself to continuously do the wrong thing just to fit into the "picture perfect" body type that I thought people would like me to be. I was not the happiest nor was I the healthiest. Yes, I am overweight now and above the range of my BMI, but I would not say that I am just plain fat or disgusting.

I commend people that do work out and put lots of time, patience, and motivation to get where they are at. I too want to be one of those people one day. I agree that complaining about it will not do anything. However, there are also people out there who are overweight for different reasons. Whatever their reason may be that is a decision that they are willing to be. Skinny is not perfect, fat is not perfect, and even I believe that fit is not perfect. Perfect is the body type you are the happiest in. It is what you are comfortable with and what makes you; well you. I am far from being perfect, in fact I have tons of body image issues due to the fact that I am always hearing or reading that being skinny is sexy, or you have to look this way for people to like you which is major crap. Being too skinny (unhealthy) and overweight (unhealthy) can both cause severe medical issues. You can die being too skinny (hence being anorexic or bulimic) or die being fat (hence heart attacks, strokes, etc..).

As mentioned it IS a very bold statement and I am not sure that people realize that what they say can really hurt someone or hit home. This is the type of comment or reason that we see that can drain someone. This type of comment does not make us look any better. In fact, as mentioned by someone it just made that person look ignorant.

What do you think or how would you react if you saw this somewhere? Better question would be is how would you react if your children wrote this or if they read this? How does this affect our youth today?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dance Dance !

I've always enjoyed spending time with Ryu. It makes my heart melt when I see him interact with other kids. This is a video of Ryu and Mya. Mya is my friend's daughter and she is older than Ryu, but that's fine Ryu absolutely adores her. I don't have many friends with children that I actually hang out with.

I have barely involved myself with mommy and baby time with other people. Erika (my coworker) is really the only person that I have had play dates with. I'm sure that when Ryu actually starts school he will have more friends. I think it worked out well that I hang out with Erika because we are the same age and she understands the schedule of parenthood. Most of my friends that do not have children do not understand that I can't just go out any time I want to. If I do go out I really love being able to bring my son around.

Hopefully when Ryu starts school we can have more play dates.

Inspirational Tuesdays

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I sat here for a good hour thinking about what I should write about today. I have a bunch of recipes compiled that I wanted to share, but I wanted to write about something more; something with substance.

Over the last five years if not longer, friends that have come and gone, continuously made mistakes, though I have also learned from them. I always knew from the beginning that my life was not so perfect. I always felt my life was so broken and I kept trying to fix relationships that were hopeless. I continuously kept sinking my own boat. I placed myself in situations that I could not get out of. At the end of the day there was no one else to blame but myself.

It was not until a few years ago when I finally woke up from the unhappiness that I have been living in to change.

I am doing the best I can each day to start all over with my family. I made the decision to let go of friends like cold turkey because I just didn't feel like it would be beneficial for me to be around during my healing process. In my case so many parts of my life were broken and I had tried to fix it multiple times and after so many times I gave up. In my opinion it's like being able to choose your battles. I was tired of being unhappy.

The moment that I dropped everything that I did not feel was beneficial for me I suddenly saw a change. Sure, I still have a long way to go as far as my outlook on life. However, I know that I have started something new and wonderful. When I started to focus more on myself and my family I soon realized that a lot of the issues that I was stressing about before seemed so miniscule. My relationship with my family, my boyfriend and most importantly with my son got better. Starting over seemed scary and I didn't find a reason to at first. It was not until I realized that I could lose everything in a blink of an eye if I didn't let go of whatever may be broken.

It took some time, but I feel like I have improved greatly within myself. I am in a much better position than I was 3-4 years ago. I have let go of people that I didn't feel deserve me or my family in my life. I have created a much better outlook on life for myself. I now have goals of where I want myself and dreams of where I see my family to be at in the future.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Grilled Portabello and Garlic Pasta

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This is my go to pasta recipe! I absolutely enjoy making this because it is extremely simple. Most of the time you can find the ingredients in your pantry. If you do opt to try this and go to the store you would not be spending much to make this meal. However, it is heavy on the garlic and onion side, but if you want to add less that works too.

The great part of this recipe is that if you are not a big fan of mushrooms just add any other type of protein you prefer. You can add a seared steak to it, perhaps grilled chicken breast!

My favorite part of cooking is making recipes that people can enjoy or they can add or take away from the recipe if they don't like something I used. I know not everyone will enjoy having this as a vegan option, but the great part of it is if you are experimenting into turning vegetarian or vegan this is an easy meal to put together at home. Plus it looks fancy as well so you can easily impress that special someone!

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Ryu Turns 4 (Star Wars Theme) Part 2

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Welcome to part 2 of Ryu's soiree. Are you getting tired of me seeing the pictures from Ryu's birthday yet? I love how the kids enjoyed being outdoors. I didn't get in the water because I was running around making sure everything was ready outside. I also didn't feel like getting in the water until it had cooled off. The weather that day was horrible. At first we checked the weather forecast for that day and it showed that it was supposed to be cool with a chance of rain. Sean was hoping that the weather would turn around and sure enough it did. It got so hot that day! By the end of the evening I had noticeably gotten sunburned throughout my shoulders, back, and arms. It was not a fun feeling the next several days after.

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It was a fun day and honestly I wouldn't change anything about it. I wish that our other friends and family were able to join us, but hopefully next year when he turns 5 they will be there.


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The cupcakes were far from perfect and were made last minute. Sure, they're not perfect but at least everyone enjoyed them and that is all that matters. These cupcakes are all vegan. We forgot that I ruined our last cupcake pan so we had to improvise which is the reason and excuse as to why they look slightly odd.

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So much for writing more about the party. I think we all know how a child's party usually turns out. This one was fun, short, and simple. We all had a great time. I'll be posting more about the last bit of the party tomorrow. Once again thanks to everyone who made this happen.



Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ryu Turns 4 (Star Wars Theme) PT 1

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I want to thank our family and friends who greeted Ryu a Happy Birthday. I want to thank all our friends and family who was a part of Ryu's 4th birthday. On July 28th Ryu turned 4!! The evening before was so hectic because I was getting our place ready for the birthday party. There was a lot to do, but well worth it! We had prepared for a "Lego Themed/Star Wars" birthday. It was tons of fun and I am so glad that our friends and family were able to join us.

Unfortunately, my mom had work that day, but she managed to stop by in the morning. My grandparents also had prior engagements but they dropped off a bunch of balloons and food! Ryu was so thrilled with his balloons. He was very happy and excited to see them in his room. For the whole month he had been asking us every day if it was his birthday yet. I wanted our place to be fixed up before Ryu's birthday, but due to funds we are still in the process of putting our place together. I'm sure with time and patience our home will come together, but I'm glad that it was at least clean enough for our guests!

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We decided that it was going to be a pool party since it was so hot outside. It was perfect to have everyone enjoy the pool and have a bunch of food to go along with it. Sean and I (mainly Sean) were in the kitchen cooking up a storm (I did the night before) to get ready for the festivity. For some reason I misunderstood some of my guests and thought that they were going to be able to make it. We made so much food that we had leftovers for a good while. My grandmother even made two huge trays of spaghetti for the children. 

We are fortunate because we live at the downstairs end unit of the complex. The pool is right in front of our place and you can view the pool from our patio. There is also an area to BBQ and eat. It was so convenient for us since we did not have to walk for nor did it take us a long time to clean up. I loved the fact that the eating area was also not far from the pool. Food was accessible without any issues, well aside from the bees and flies. We left the food covered because the flies were a pain.

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I used mason jars for the candy, but quickly ran out to cover the top. The lollipop handles were too short so you could see them, but I don't think anyone cared much for it. The kids had goodie bags and I had an assortment of candy in it too. We didn't have a pinata. I guess we just felt that we had nowhere to hang it safely and not get stung by anything and we didn't want to do it indoors. Hopefully we get the opportunity to do it next year.

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Here is a picture with Ryu and the ladies, ha! He was so excited that he had friends coming over to swim that he still talks about it to this very day. He always asks me if his friends can come over and swim with him.

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It was a small, but fun party. I am already thinking of his birthday party for next year and what kind of theme we want to go with. I want to be ready for his big 5th birthday! I love him so much and he deserves the best! Thank you again to all our family and friends for the love, birthday wishes, and gifts!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Battered Curry Cakes

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Curry happens to be my favorite meal to eat. I absolutely enjoy Korean and Japanese curry the most. We have bunch of spices that we use for Channa Masala at home (which is also delectable) and decided to add those flavors into my curry cakes.

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Learning How To Write

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Ryu has made incredible improvement with his speech since he started his IEP program. Though his program is on hold for now until September (which is when school starts for him again), he continues to improve greatly in his daycare. If you have followed an old blog of mine I had written multiple posts regarding our journey with Ryu's speech disability. We were told that he may be autistic in the beginning which could be the reason why he was not talking at the time. I then took the initiative to place him in the IEP program hoping that he would improve.

Ryu has been in the IEP for one whole school year and he will be starting the program in a month. I am extremely proud of my little one because he has come so far in a year. We are now in the process of teaching him how to write. I bought some workbooks and flashcards for us to review when Ryu is with me. We have been rewarding him with stickers after each session he completes. We told him that once he fills a whole calendar month with stickers that he would be rewarded with a toy of his choice.

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I really enjoy sitting down with Ryu and teaching him how to read and write. When I was Ryu's age my grandfather taught me how to read and write by the age of 3. Sure he is 4, but everyone develops differently. I give those stay-at-home parents who chooses to home school their children two thumbs up because it gets difficult, frustrating, and it requires extreme patience. However, knowing that you are helping your child in the process of learning is a very rewarding feeling.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Simple Egg Breakfast

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This is a quick and easy recipe I put together while I was in a hurry one morning. I wanted something yummy, but I didn't want to make anything too heavy. I'm not huge on breakfast, but when I do get hungry I want something that is not going to consume my time especially in the morning. I feel like I'm always a mommy on the go and the last thing I want to do is spend most of my morning making some type of gourmet breakfast.

You can also add any type of veggies or breakfast meat in this meal. I know that bacon is a big breakfast item and I'm sure that would be a great option to add to this recipe.

The beauty of this scramble is that it's easy and you can add anything you would like. You can even change the seasonings by adding rosemary and Thyme for an Italian flare, or you can go heavy on the cumin for a more smokey and rich Mexican flavor. This is the kind of recipe you can go crazy with. Just go easy on the salt ;)

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Ryu's Room Decor

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It's been a while since I've posted anything related to home decorating. I figure I'd share with you all the before and after pictures I have.

When we first moved in we still had Ryu's old crib and was using that as a bed for him. It was pretty much converted into a day bed. I was proud of the minimal decor I had in his room that I put up. We decided to place Sean's shelf (it was actually my idea) into Ryu's room so that he had storage for his toys and clothes. We did not have much moving in. We had a few things here and there, but we lived in a smaller apartment and when we moved into this place we had so much space that we did not really know what to do with it at first (or at least I didn't). I made sure that the first room that I would take care of was Ryu's. I just wanted him to feel at home and be comfortable in having his own room. I didn't have my room to myself until my sister moved out and joined the military.


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Since Ryu's birthday we have made a few changes. A few pieces of furniture from Sean's grandmothers home went to us and that gave us the opportunity to add more storage to Ryu's room. I am very thankful that we have these pieces because it has helped us a bit. We received a bed and a dresser and we didn't have to buy any of those items for his room. I was considering buying Ryu a toddler bed, but instead Ryu now has a full-size bed.

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For a while Ryu had a lot of open space to play around. He was completely fine with that since he made a lot of mess scattering his toys around (not fun when you have to clean it up). We slowly showed and explained to him that if you make a mess you have to clean it up. He's been pretty good about picking up after himself before bed time.

The bed and dresser came the day before his birthday and it was the only chance Sean got to get it over. We spent that evening getting his room together before he came home. We even added a TV (an older tv I bought from a friend) and DVD player on top of the dresser for him. It's not connected to cable so that he does not get used to watching TV all the time. We also get to monitor what he's watching by buying the movies or shows that he gets to watch.

The morning Ryu came home for his party he was surprised and happy about his room. I'm glad that he was alright with us taking away the space in his room for a bigger bed. There is still some area to play, but not as much as he had before.


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This is what Ryu's room looks like from his door way.  He still has a lot of walk room and I've noticed that since he got his bed he does not care to play much on the floor anymore. He prefers to be on his bed.

[caption id="attachment_745" align="aligncenter" width="386"]©2013ItsAbbyTime ©2013ItsAbbyTime[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_746" align="aligncenter" width="386"]©2013ItsAbbyTime ©2013ItsAbbyTime[/caption]


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I still plan on adding family pictures and posters on either his shelf or on his wall, but we are still in the process of decorating. Ryu has this fascination with maps and Sean grabbed his old Globe from his dad's place. I am trying to find a huge map to place over his headboard for him. I have browsed Pinterest for ideas on how to add personal touches here and there. I am most likely going to continuously take pictures if we do any other updates to his room. I had a lot of fun decorating his room to the best of my ability and with the resources that we had. I am happy with the outcome. In the beginning I was not a hundred percent with how it all came together, but with time and money it will get better.