Sisters Giving Back 2019

We know, as moms ourselves, just how important it is to have support in parenting. The task of raising successful, healthy children is not an easy one and the age old adage “it takes a village to raise a child” couldn’t be more true. As sisters, we are fortunate to have that support in each other, but we know that the experiences and relationships our children have within the community are every bit as important. 

That’s why this year, we’ve decided to partner up with Sefra Kay Photography and Back Porch Flowers in raising funds for a program that benefits the children who need it most in our community. As Sisters Giving Back©, we are raising funds for Rise Up, a local youth program devoted to helping provide low income students grades 3-5 with positive experiences and classes at the Santa Maria Valley YMCA. 

These students, identified as at-risk by local school teachers and administrators, are encouraged in the program to focus on academics (with an emphasis on STEM learning), healthy living habits and social responsibility. They participate in classes where they spend hands-on time doing science and robotics experiments, cooking, and even learning to swim. Many of these children would never receive an opportunity to experience these things without Rise Up.

One of the things that makes the Rise Up program unique is that it offers these students long term support; they can expect to be a part of the program for 3 years. Upon graduating Rise Up, they become a part of the Bulldog Bound program through Allan Hancock College, which “focuses on creating a college-going culture among fifth- through eighth- grade students and their families. The program introduces them to AHC, the campus, and the programs and services available through early outreach events”.

Another way Rise Up goes above and beyond other programs is that they recognize the need for children to experience the joys of childhood as well – and some of the most memorable moments happen at the holidays. Rise Up provides the students and their families with turkeys at Thanksgiving and, with enough funding, gifts at Christmas. 

That’s where we come in as Sisters Giving Back©! We aim to raise enough funds to provide all 30 of these students and their families with gifts this holiday season. The memories made spent as a family are important to us, and the joy of a child receiving unexpected gifts is magic. In reaching our modest goal of raising $150 for each family, we think we can bring a little  magic to these kids and would love it if you would help us! 

Join us for our first Holiday Helping Hour to make your tax-deductible* donation:

Date & Time: December 3rd 4:30-7:30

Location: Back Porch Flowers 4850 S. Bradley Rd., Ste. D1 ORCUTT, CA 93455 

For every $20 donated, you’ll not only be helping buy presents for some very deserving kids, you’ll also be receiving 1 raffle ticket towards prizes valued up to $300! We’ll be serving hors d’oeuvres & beverages, a fun photo booth, and representatives from Rise Up will be on hand to talk about their program. Plus, it’s a great way to get out and meet your neighbors and local business owners!  

If you’d like to make a donation but are unable to attend, please e-mail us at: !

Thank you for being a part of strengthening this sisterhood to which we all belong!

-Lan & Cathy

*The Santa Maria Valley YMCA non-profit tax ID is #95-2158363. A 501(c)(3) proof of non-profit status is available upon request.

Food For Gatherings!

Halloween has come and gone and we’re moving full-steam ahead into the holiday party season. For us, the more gatherings the better! Being a guest is always fun, but we also love welcoming friends and family into our homes to celebrate the holidays. How about you: does the idea of hosting a party sound fun or is it just stressful? Well, good news – the secret to good hosting is a simple one. Whether you’re a seasoned hostess who loves to make things fancy or are just wanting to gather a few friends for a casual get together, the one thing that makes EVERY guest happy is this: GOOD FOOD!

Trust us, we’ve hosted our share of parties from casual (pizza delivery anyone?) to elaborate (ask Lan about her 40th birthday/wedding sometime!). The one thing that is sure to bring people together for a good time ISN’T the decorations, the fancy venue, or even the drinks – it’s the food. EVERY. TIME.

That’s why we’ve compiled some of our favorite drool-inducing recipes here for you this month. And these aren’t your basic recipes; they’re comfort dishes with a twist sure to be crowd pleasers. So, whether you’re bringing a pot-luck dish to share or gathering everyone at your place, you’re set! Check them out and let us know what you try…

Happy Gathering Season!

Instant-ly Comforting

It’s Fall, sisters! What does that mean to you? Because, when we think of Fall, we think boots and scarves and pumpkin everything! And when it comes to food, we definitely think warm and comforting. Although, don’t hate us, we’re not the biggest fans of the PSL. It’s just not our bag, but we do know we love what else Fall ushers in…

The beginning of the holiday season! Yep, Halloween is just around the corner and before you know it, Thanksgiving will be here and then Christmas…you get the picture! We’ve got a lot on our plates…literally. So we’re dedicating this month to the wonderfully helpful, ever-so easy, INSTANT POT. It’s been a gift to our families – really, how else do you make spaghetti in 8 minutes, using only 1 pot? So, we say “Bring on the holidays, because with these easy IP recipes, we’ll have more time to make the Halloween costumes and getting the house ready for the guests to come!” 

Check out the delicious recipes we’ve selected for you HERE . We’ve got something for everyone, from a hearty chicken-tortilla soup to a pumpkin cheesecake (YEP, even that’s in the instant pot!).

We also recommend joining a Facebook Instant Pot Community. What’s great about these types of communities is that they offer a pool of knowledge you can draw from. If you’re a beginner, this is an excellent resource for all questions IP related. Once you become an expert, share your knowledge with others…

Warm hugs,

Lan & Cathy

Holding On To Summer

We don’t know about you, but we’re in no hurry to usher in Fall! In keeping with the spirit of summer, this month’s recipes continue to incorporate fresh, bright flavors that might inspire you to dine al fresco just a little longer.

With the warm weather looking like it’s going to stick around for a bit, we still have access to ingredients like juicy nectarines, vibrant tomatoes and succulent strawberries; we really want to make the most of them while we can! That’s why we’ve curated these recipes for you. 

We’ve got everything from a sweet and savory salad to start the meal off to cold and boozy popsicles that are a fun nod to childhood afternoons spent outside. And don’t worry, there are recipes that call for firing up the grill as well! 

We hope you’ll find these selections as yummy as we do, and definitely let us know what you think if you try any of them! Check them all out (HERE)

With Love,

Lan & Cathy

P.S. Recipes from previous months always stay up (found under our Recipes We Love tab), so check those out for more delicious ideas…

Light & Easy Summer Eating

The rain has abated and the sun is OUT here on the central coast of California. Definitely an indicator that SUMMER IS HERE! That means we’re craving light, easy meals and snacks that leave us feeling satisfied but not stuffed. Summer is a great time to gather friends and family over a meal that doesn’t take all day to prep, but still tastes like it does, right? We take that gathering time very seriously; our family has always found ANY excuse to get together and eat. That’s when all the great conversations and laughter are shared. 

Considering all of the fond memories we’ve created over summer meals as a family, we’ve decided to share recipes this month that evoke all the nostalgic flavors and textures of our favorite Vietnamese meals – some with a twist!

Check them out (HERE). We’ve included everything from a light shrimp salad to a luscious creme caramel…and don’t forget the ubiquitous Vietnamese coffee – enjoyed by caffeine lovers everywhere. You know how we love a good coffee! 🙂 We hope you’ll try out a few of our selections and enjoy them as much as we do. Let us know how your dish(es) turn out!

With Love,

Lan & Cathy

P.S. Recipes from previous months always stay up (found under our Recipes We Love tab), so check those out for more delicious ideas…

What’re You Wrapping Up For Mom?

Stumped for gift ideas for Mom? 

Mother’s Day is just over a week away, and it’s not too late to get that perfect gift to make Mom feel loved and pampered. We’ve rounded up a list of fun and sassy gifts that are sure to make your mom feel like the fabulous woman she is. Whether she’s an active woman on the go, more of a “relax with her toes in the sand” kind of gal, or simply loves to glam it up – we’ve got you covered. Click Here to check out our 2019 Mother’s Day Gift Guide and cross shopping off your list today!

With Love,

Lan & Cathy

P.S. If you’re a mom yourself – we hope YOU’RE pampered this Mother’s Day, too! 

Spring Eats

Spring is in full swing, and with the sunshine and flowers also comes the FRESH PRODUCE! As California natives, we LOVE this time of year. It’s a time we can start getting our delicious favorites, like locally grown strawberries, lettuces, snap peas, blueberries, and so much more. We’re lucky to have easy access to farm-fresh produce like this and incorporating these delicious ingredients into our everyday recipes is so satisfying.

This month we’re sharing tried and true recipes (CLICK HERE) that highlight all the fresh flavors of the season. From a refreshing watermelon and arugula salad to a decadent strawberry-rhubarb crisp (highly recommend you serve this a la mode!), we’ve got something for every palate. We hope you’ll try out a few and enjoy them as much as we do. Maybe even make one or two to share at Easter? Let us know how your dish(es) turn out!

With Love,

Lan & Cathy

P.S. Recipes from previous months always stay up (found under our Recipes We Love tab), so check those out for more delicious ideas…