Star Anise Chicken in the Instant Pot

Are you a perfectionist? Have you ever been so AFRAID to fail that it’s kept you from doingthe things you’ve always wanted to do?

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That’s me right there. I am your classic case of perfectionism. I was pretty naturally good at a lot of things (boast post!) so when something didn’t end up working out for me or if it took more than one try, I was quick to give up and say “Sorry, man! Not for me!”

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My perfectionist tendencies has kept me from doing LOTS of things. Including seemingly trivial things like trying new recipes.

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I LOVE TO EAT. And cook. And eat. Haha.

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But when it comes to trying new recipes, I’m going to be honest and say I get a little anxious if it doesn’t work out.

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I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid of the recipe being good enough and somehow it being conveyed as ME not being good enough. I’m afraid of wasting time, money and energy on something I worked really HARD on.

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But what I’ve learned as coach through personal development and self-improvement has taught me that nothing great has come from comfort zones.

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We live our happiest lives when we are learning and growing and it isn’t always easy to do that.

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So when I decided to modify this recipe for the Instant Pot and make it my own, and actually SHARE it, it was a BIG step for me.  It meant I would be pushing outside my comfort zone. It meant I would be spending a little more time, money and energy than I really wanted to. But lady, was it ever worth it!

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I’ve actually tried this recipe TWICE now and once it has failed.

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But I never gave up. I didn’t quit.

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After another time, I got it RIGHT!

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Imagine if I had quit??

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I wouldn’t be able to share this amazing recipe with you all!!!

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Here it is. Star Anise Chicken in the Instant Pot!

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STAR ANISE CHICKEN in the Instant Pot

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Ingredients:

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8 chicken thighs

2 tsps minced garlic

2 tsps fresh minced ginger

1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp honey

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup tamari or low sodium soy sauce

2 star anise pods

Juice of half an orange

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Green onions for garnish

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Method:

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1. Press sautΓ© function on pot. Brown chicken on both sides.

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2. Add the rest of the ingredients into the pot.

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3. Press cancel to stop SautΓ© function. Put lid on pot. Make sure it is set to “sealing”.

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4. Press Manual button and set time for 15 minutes on High. Wait for the pot to count down until the chicken is finished cooking. Set and forget. Go play with your kids or read a book. ❀

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5. Let the pot naturally release for 5 minutes and then do a quick pressure release to safely open the lid.

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6. Serve and enjoy! πŸ˜‹

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Have you tried this recipe or are you going to try it? Let me know! I’d love to hear how yours turns out and what you think of it!

A family that PREPS together, stays together


On Sundays, we at Hansen House do our #mealprep!.

Being a busy family with one parent working full time, the other working part-time and running a business, and with a child who wakes up before 6am every morning, meal prep is a MUST. 

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If we didn’t Meal prep, we would be getting fast food, spending unnecessarily and filling our bodies with lord knows what. 

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We like to make healthy eating a family affair! Here are 5 tips to make it happen in yours:

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1. Go shopping as a family.

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Get your kids to go on a scavenger hunt and find certain items! Narra loves putting the items we find into the produce bags.

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2. Browse a cookbook with your spouse. 

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It’s a great bonding activity and you get to plan out which meals you’d like to eat together!

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3. If your child can print, have them write out the menu for the week on a chalkboard or white board.

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Give them things to look forward to during the week AND get some sneaky printing practice in. πŸ˜‰

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4. Give EVERYBODY a job when prepping meals.

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Everybody can do something! They just may need some support. Narra was ripping kale leaves off stems since she was 1! Hello much needed ripping skills for fine motor skills practice!

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5. Eat meals together at a table. No TV.

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This was a hard one for us. Eric and I USED to have meals in front of the TV before Narra was born. Now, we all sit at the table, eat and chat. It’s actually quite fun! It also teaches your children (and yourself) to be mindful of what you are eating. You get to slow down and savour the food instead of wolfing it down while you are distracted by a screen.

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And that’s it!!

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Do you have a healthy family eating tip you’d like to share? I’d love more ideas!! 

DIY Imperfectly PERFECT Felt Board

Do what you can with what you have. 

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After a good 30 years of placing BLAME on everyone and everything for my goals not being met, I have embraced a life of taking RESPONSIBILITY for making my dreams come true.

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This includes, but is not limited to the existence of a felt board in our home.

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I am a special education assistant when I am not momming or coaching, so the teaching runs STRONG in my soul. πŸ˜‰

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So when Narra expressed interest in the days of the week and wanting to know what activities we had on which days, I made a note in my bullet journal of the page of “things to make for Narra” to get a calendar made for her.

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And that list sat there for a couple of months without any action being taken on it.

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Recently, in my vital Coaching behaviours and daily personal development training, I was reminded about taking MASSIVE action and RESPONSIBILITY for making my to do list, a DONE list.

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I had been putting off making these calendar doo-dad’s because “it wasn’t the right time” or “there’s no money in the budget for a felt board” or “Narra won’t leave me alone for the HOURS I would need to make such a thing”.

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And then finally, I said, that’s it! I’m doing something about it! I’m going to use whatever I have laying around the house to make myself a felt board in whatever time I have.

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And guess what? I did it. And in a total of 20 minutes too. Including running around the house looking for supplies and tending to a toddler who was vying for my attention but who had just recently had lots of time with her mama reading books.

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So here it is! My perfectly imperfect DIY felt Board. 

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It’s not professional, but somehow I don’t think Narra is going to care. All she will see is the days of the week and which days her mommy and daddy are going to be at home playing with her. πŸ˜‰

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DIY Felt Board

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Materials:


4 letter size sheets of Felt material (whatever you have laying around)

Duct tape (any colour)

Scissors

Piece of cardboard
How to:

1. Lay pieces of Felt together as tight as possible. Use duct tape to secure together at edges. 

2. Turn big sheet over so the front part of the Felt (no tape side) is showing. Make a border of tape around the edges of the big sheet leaving enough tape to secure to the back of the cardboard.


3. Flip the big sheet of Felt upside down again and place cardboard in centre of sheet. Fold the tape over the edges of cardboard.


4. Trim corners to secure the Felt to the edges. Turn over, make adjustments where necessary, flatten the Felt with your hands.


5. Voila! Felt Board done!!


Just like with my workouts and meal prep, DONE is always better than perfect! πŸ™Œ

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Have you been putting something off doing something on your TO DO list? Let me know! Maybe we can brainstorm ways to get that sh!t done TOGETHER! πŸ‘­

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Love accountability and taking responsibility to take MASSIVE ACTION? Join one of my accountability groups. The next one starts March 6th!! Message me to reserve your limited spot!

Stop Wondering. Start DOING.

What a special treat!! ❀.

I woke up early today but I KNEW someone would want to join me while I exercised this morning on my day off work. πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§ I love these moments because I get to show Narra what hard, consistent work looks like. I get to show her that if she wants health and happiness, it is up to HER to make it happen!

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I used to use the fact that I had diabetes, high blood sugar, depression, anxiety, a busy life AND having a baby be my excuse for not taking care of me.

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“It was too hard. I had OTHER priorities. Working out everyday and eating healthy 80% of the time wasn’t worth it. Everyone else eats processed food, sugar and junk so why should I care so much? I’m just going to end up sick anyway. We’re all doomed anyway!”

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Oh my. 😝 These are ACTUAL things I’ve said!!

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But one day, I woke up and said, enough is enough. I’m tired of BLAMING other people for my lack of resourcefulness. I’m tired of finding EXCUSES to not take care of me. I’m ready to take RESPONSIBILITY for my dreams and my goals with my ACTIONS.

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Enough is enough. I’m ready to stop wondering when I’m FINALLY going to do something for ME. 

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That time is NOW. Stop wondering, start DOING.

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Our next accountability group starts on MARCH 6th! Are you ready to FUEL YOU?

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#thetimeisnow #fuelyou #foryourselffitness

The Magical Mystery Tour

In our 9 years of being together, Eric and I have never celebrated Valentine’s Day. Shocking, right? πŸ˜‰

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It’s not that I don’t believe in LOVE, because I really do! But it’s because Valentine’s Day can get a little too busy for me. Flowers and chocolate cost more that day, reservations to restaurants are almost impossible to find. If you know me, I tend to be practical so celebrating the day after Valentine’s Day, has become OUR day.

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We call it LOVE DAY!

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In honour of our TENTH Love Day together, I want to share our most special celebration: the Love Day we got engaged.

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Right here, from our wedding blog is the story of how our married life began. ENJOY!

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February 15, 2010

Once upon a time, there was a handsome man named Eric who lived in a darling little apartment with a beautiful woman named Corinne.

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One day, during the span of the Winter 2010 Olympics, Eric decided to ask Corinne out on a Magical Mystery Tour date after work. He gallantly rode up to her place of work, once her day had ended, in his 2007 Hyundai Accent. Corinne had no idea what was to happen on this date. All she was told was to dress up fancy but make sure her clothes were warm enough for an evening walk outside.


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Eric whisked her away to the Island of Granville (Granville Island) where there was a series of tents set up by different countries (like Switzerland) to commemorate the Games that were taking place in their city. Eric and Corinne enjoyed the sights, smells and sounds of the festive location and were even witness to a monster parade! What fun!


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Soon after the parade, Eric grabbed Corinne’s hand and led her in the direction of her favourite restaurant, the Afghan Horseman, where they serve Afghan meals in a Yurt (Afghan tent) style room. The food was amazing (as usual), and the red wine (Corinne’s FAVOURITE drink)was a real treat to have on a weekday night. After the delicious meal, Corinne leaned on Eric’s shoulder and said, “This was a great date! Thank you. Now let’s go home and play with our puppy (Champagne).”


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But Eric said there was one more stop after this. Corinne had no idea what was in store.

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It was dark as they left the restaurant. They both got into the car, once more, and headed down an unfamiliar road that soon became recognizable. Corinne saw signs. This way to the Planetarium. As they turned the corner to the parking lot, Corinne gasped as she saw the search light show that was set up just for the Olympics! The amazing lights were dancing in the sky, creating patterns in the night. Eric parked the car and asked Corinne to take a walk with him down to the water where the lights were so they could have a better view of the lights.


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As Corinne and Eric walked down the grassy field of the planetarium, Corinne was surprised that there wasn’t a crowd of people around to watch the lights. They must all be Downtown, she thought. Corinne stood in front of Eric, in his arms and the both of them watched silently as the lights looked for areas of sky to shine on.

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All of a sudden, Eric pulled away from Corinne. Corinne turned around to see where Eric had gone. She turned around and there he was. Down on one knee, with a beautiful ring in his hand.

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“Corinne…”

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Corinne was so excited and speechless that she immediately grabbed the ring from Eric, put it on her ring finger and began to cry.

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Eric had to calm her down to finish asking her, “Corinne, will you marry me?”

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“Yes. Of course.” she replied.


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And they drove off happily into the night, ending their Magical Mystery Tour date, but beginning the ride of their Magical Mystery Tour life.

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And what a ride it has been so far. πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

Do you have a proposal story to share? I want to hear it! Comment or message me and we can gush about proposals 😘

Of Mothers and Daughters

There are many things I have yet to share about myself with you all. I have a major story to tell..

I strive to be open and honest because really, I don’t see any other way to live. But once in a while, despite persistent jabs from my strong gut feelings to share some parts of my story I would rather keep hidden, I know that deep down, sharing my story and connecting with others is the right thing to do. Because in my past life’s troubles lies a lesson and a story that others may relate to, that they might be able to see themselves in and know that a tough time won’t last forever.

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It’s not normally a topic I bring up, but when I moved out of my parents home, I left without saying goodbye. We hadn’t always had a great relationship. We fought. A LOT. So much that at times, our conversations became unbearable. So unbearable that I just knew I had to leave. And the way I felt I needed to leave was without a goodbye or a note or anything. The way I left was without talking to my mom for months.

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I felt ashamed for many years for doing that to my parents because I knew I had hurt them. And badly, too. 

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I was also really angry and overcome with grief for the way our relationship evolved, and not for the better, that I just decided to squash those feelings down and not talk about it.

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If you’re a feeling-squasher like me, you know this is not a good idea. It comes out in other ways. In other places you never thought they would come out.

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For me, this has come out in raising my own daughter. I will be honest and say that one of my anxieties THIS EARLY in life is that Narra will leave me the way I left my parents. And this scares me. Because even though I know that one day she will eventually leave when she is an adult, I don’t want her and I to ever fight the way my mom and I did and leave the house the way I did either.

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One of my vital behaviours as an accountability coach is to work out my mind everyday, as well as my body. Feed it with the proper fuel, just like I feed my body with nutritious food. It is called personal development. It is something I would’ve never done if I hadn’t become a coach.

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My personal development has taught me that in order to move on and move forward with my life and be free of my past, I need to un-squash my feelings.

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I need to destroy my anger. Surrender to my grief. Unpack all my feelings and celebrate how far I have come. 

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I need to realize that my relationship with my own mom has come along way. That we made it through our bad times and that we can make it through more because we are family and despite what happens, I love her and she loves me. Nothing will change that.

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I need to realize that my relationship with Narra is a new one and that the past does NOT define the future. We have a new story to write. I have realized that my anxiety for future, is stealing my joy of the present. That it is preventing me from enjoying the little things that turn out to be the BIG things in life.

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Like this moment here. Three generations of women, passed out and on a sofa bed after a trip to Value Village. 

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These are the BIG things, the big moments in life. And I’m ready for more of them. 😊

My name is Corinne and I am Filipino-Canadian.

Privilege. A tough word to swallow for some. It makes people who have it a little uncomfortable, myself included..

I am #canadian because I was born here in beautiful #britishcolumbia. My dad and mom immigrated here from the #philippines when my older brother was one year old, and I was but a glimmer in my mom’s eye. πŸ˜‰

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My mom often tells me stories of how it was to adjust to living here in Canada. For one thing, she arrived in Canada on HALLOWEEN, a holiday they didn’t have in the Philippines at that time. 😝 So you can imagine her shock when kids dressed as monsters arrived at her door demanding candy. 

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But it wasn’t all fun and funny though. She also told me of how lonely and scary it was coming to a new country with no community, none of her family and being a new mom taking care of my older brother on her own. My dad worked early mornings and late evenings, doing whatever job he could find because that was what he needed to do to support his family, so my mom was often alone at home. And this was a time before Internet and phones so no mommy Facebook groups to keep her company. πŸ˜•

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It wasn’t until I became a mom myself that I understood exactly what this meant. A husband working long hours, being alone in a new country and feeling disconnected from your community. 

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Even though I have had struggles with postpartum anxiety and depression with intrusive thoughts as a new mom, I feel very fortunate that I didn’t have to navigate all my mental health obstacles plus new parenthood in a country that was foreign to me. 

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My parents got through it (because they are major bad-asses who get sh!t done πŸ˜‰) but I do realize that because of their decisions and determination to push forward no matter how hard moving to a new country and starting over is, I am #privileged.

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Now before, this would’ve made me feel so uncomfortable that I would shut down, feel hurt and think “How could you think I was privileged??” and stop talking to the person who suggested such a thing. But today, I know that having privilege isn’t something to feel bad about.

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I realize that being a Filipino-Canadian puts me in a unique position to be able to be heard in both communities. It also means I get to bridge gaps between cultures and help people understand each other better because I have that awareness of all ways of living.

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I am proud of both my citizenship and my cultural heritage and it that way, I feel extremely privileged and happy that I get to make a difference in so many lives. Including being able to connect people with services in their community that they may not know about!

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For #newimmigrants in #vancouver, be sure to look up The Multicultural Helping House Society, a non-profit organization started by a Filipino to help get you settled. ❀ 

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For more information, send them a message on their Facebook Page or visit their website at http://www.Helpinghouse.ca