Saturday, June 29, 2013

Body Talk

Iya, my smart (Ms. Smartypants!  Haha!) and precocious niece saw me running after chasing Ate (being a curious 2-year old that she is) during a family dinner. . . then she said:

Iya: Alam mo Tata, pag nasa States ka na, puwede kang mag-work out kasi dami kang babantayan (having two kids).  Magiging sexy ka.

Me:  *Ouch!  Haha!*
         Bakit hindi ba ako sexy?

Iya: *Smiling* 
        Sexy!  Ibig ko sabihin MAS magiging sexy ka kapag mag work-out ka.

(Good answer!  Your parents taught you well, haha!)

Oh well, as they say, if you want to hear the truth, you have to get it from kids!

Time to diet!!!

Ate with her Cousins
(Iya, being the eldest among them is the leader of the pack)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Baguio's Famous Strawberry Shortcake

I've mentioned in an earlier post that we went to Baguio a few weekends ago.  I haven't been to Baguio for several years now so I thought of surfing the Net for places which we can try for a foodie adventure.  One thing that came up was the Strawberry Shortcake of Vizco's.  As I've said in earlier posts, I am a dessert (and cake!) lover.  So with the foodie list in my hand, I was ready to conquer Baguio!  But I should have known better . . . having 4 kids in this trip would mean . . . ummm, no schedule, no plans, because everything is "let's play it by ear"!  So I threw the list out of the window (there's probably a next time) and told my brother, I can forego the things on the list, but not the Strawberry ShortCAKE, haha!  

Vizco's Restaurant and Bakeshop is located along Session Road (must be the busiest area since it is the City's Commercial District) where parking IS a problem.  So my brother's deal, if he can't find a parking, I have to say goodbye to my Shortcake.  (Okay, deal!)

But things were meant to be!  Woohoo!  We found a parking spot a few meters from the shop, my sister-in law hurriedly walked, went in and ordered a slice --- so we'll know if we have reason to buy a whole cake, Haha!  

I could have taken a better picture, but we were rushing!  

It is actually a simple cake, nothing fancy (and there are fancier strawberry shortcakes out there) but it is good enough to eat and can satisfy one's sweet cravings.  What we loved most about this cake was the icing!  It was light, it was good (not too sweet), I didn't feel guilty eating it! 

So, yes, we bought a whole cake.  =)

After a 5 hour road trip ---the cake made it!

Surprisingly, my 6-yr old niece (who only likes anything vanilla, chocolate or cookies and cream) and my sister (who is not fond of any fruity cakes) actually liked the cake. =)  I think we should have bought 2 cakes!  Haha!

I think we all have our "Vizco's" in our own city--- that local place which serves good desserts and comfort food.   I haven't tried their food (another reason to go back to Vizco's) but they have the standard  fares like Salads, Pastas and Pizzas, BBQ Ribs, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Salisbury Steak, etc. (and I heard they have good Spanish Caldereta).

For more details about Vizco's, please visit their FB page.

Photo from Vizco's FB Page

But you know which is the first Strawberry Shortcake I fell in love with?  


Image Source

Have a nice weekend ahead!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Getting Lost

in Me & U!

I love going to this store. . . and get lost in a sea of cute and quirky stuff.  They have a lot of "couple items" such as shirts, pillow covers, glasses and mugs.  It's a great place to look for gifts!  Sometimes I come here not necessarily to buy anything but more often, I just look around and get a feast for my eyes, heehee.

 I think this pair of pillow covers would be nice to have!

RIGHT Huney?  Hahaha! 

For more information about Me & U, please visit their website and FB page.

Happy Birthday P!

I would like to dedicate this post to a very special little boy who is celebrating his 1st Birthday today!

Happy Birthday P!

We wish you a great zest for life as you continue to explore new things everyday =)

This is not the first time I've blogged about P.  I actually blogged about him and his lovable parents (E and Queen D) here . . .  when I got sooo excited when his dear Mama shared with me the good news that she was 9 weeks pregnant with him (after being married for 9 years).  It was not an easy journey for them, but the most important thing was they never gave up, remained strong and faithful.  And seeing little P only proves that good things happen to those who wait =)

Goes without saying that E and D have enjoyed the road to Parenthood since the day they learned about their little Angel.  They are enjoying P immensely as he likes playing with their car keys (get ready when he asks for the real thing!  Haha!) and Iphone.  This little boy lights up the room when he smiles but loves biting too (heehee). . . .and he won't go hungry too!  He knows how to get the attention of his parents especially when he sees them eating bananas which is his favorite fruit . . . And I'm sure his parents can't resist him when he says "Ma-mah" and "Pa-pah".

To E and D, we are sharing in your happiness as a family as you celebrate your little Angel's 1st Birthday  today!  (Have an amazing and fun-filled day!  Yes, it is but right to declare today a special no-work holiday for both of you! Haha!)

And to the rest of us who are praying for something, I hope that P will inspire us to be hopeful and faithful as he reminds us that God answers prayers. . . that he gives us what He knows is best for us =)

Have a blessed day ahead! =)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lolo's Girl

As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery . . .

We got here one flattered Lolo (means Grandpa) then!

And yes, they really love wearing sunglasses =)


. . . in answering these questions from Ate's school!

It is harder than I think!

These questions left me speechless and thinking over a couple of days!  Haha!  (Nah, I just couldn't come up with a decent answer, haha!).  I guess I'm at a loss for words, I can't fully explain what I want to say.  I can't because I feel (in my book) that I am still new at Parenting that I couldn't really put a claim on a "style".  My Parenting is really a mix of everything . . . from what I've seen from my parents, from books, advice from my Mommy friends, my own beliefs, instincts and gut feel.  

Answering this questionnaire brought me back to my Philosophy class in College.  We had a quiz one day and only had to answer ONE question. . . "How do you convince an in-born blind man that an apple is red?"

---- Insert cricket sounds here ---- 

See. . . it was a speechless and thinking moment right?  Haha!  
Anyway, I've finished answering the questionnaire.  It was not easy answering the questions but it was a good opportunity for me to look at myself as a parent and how I can become a better one.  =) 

Oh just in case you're wondering what was the answer to our Philosophy quiz. . . if you let the blind man touch and feel the apple, or let him taste it, and tell him that is "Red", you've already convinced him!  . . . Because he never had a concept of what "Red" is in the first place =)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Our Private Tutor

Iya, my 6 year old niece dropped by this afternoon so I told her to teach Ate some things.  (Then I went on to tell her what to ask/teach Ate) 

This is what happens when you hire a 6-yr old tutor:

Iya:  What is the name of your teacher?

Ate:  Pauuuu (Ate got it right)

I:      How many years old are you? (I told her what the right question was)

I:      (Take Two) - How old are you?

A:     Twooo (and Ate even raised two of her fingers to show what's "two")

I:      What's your name?

A:     No answer

I:       It's Ja-ni-na  - Say JA

A:     JA

I:      NI

A:    NI

I:     NA

A:    NA

I:     Janina!

A:   Twoooo 

I:     Nooooo. . . again, again

Repeat this several times, haha!  

And after a few trys, Ate did say her name. . ."NANANA"

Until our next lesson Iya!

Remembering Dr. Seuss

I grew up reading Dr. Seuss books.  I remember reading "Green Eggs and Ham", "Cat in the Hat" and my most favorite is . . .

Photo source

Trivia: This is Dr. Seuss first book, published in 1937 . .  .
after being rejected 27 times! 

We have a good number of  Dr. Seuss books or rather we HAD!  I thought of looking for them today so I can read them to Ate and for me to enjoy the books again.  Sad to say, my mom gave them away. (Waaaahhhh!  Thinking about those books still breaks my heart while I write this post) . . . But it's okay, let's share our love for Dr. Seuss! 

Back then I just remember the funny drawings and the different way the stories were written (because they don't begin with "Once upon a time", haha!) that they sounded more of a riddle than a story.  Now that I'm older, I appreciate the uniqueness of Dr. Seuss and the valuable lessons from his whimsical books. 

In memory of our Dr Seuss and his books (and the books we've lost, haha!), here are some inspiring quotes:

All images and quotes are from this link (

Ate goes to School

I know that you have probably heard this line a million times!  But it's true and I'm going to say it again, haha!  Time flies soooo fast especially when it comes to children . . .

I've blogged about dressing up Janina with a school uniform last year just because her cousin has outgrown it.
June 2102
See what difference a year makes!

June 2013

She's just two years old and is going to a Pre-Nursery class (During my time, there was just Nursery, and today, there's even a class before Nursery!) . .  . I know some of you may think that she is still too young to go to school.  But if there's one thing I like her to learn . . . even before her ABCs and 123s . . .I want her to learn how to socialize and interact with other kids.  Meeting them and playing with them would make learning more fun!  (Not that I make a boring teacher at home!  Haha!)

When I attended the orientation for Parents given by the school, the School Administrator shared with us a quote that reinforces the importance of early childhood education  =)
“The first six years of life set the stage for lifelong learning, behaviour, health and well-being.” Dr. J Fraser Mustard
So yes, I am happy I did send her to school this early . . .

Ate goes to school for 2 hours everyday.  What happens in those two hours?  They have table activities (Coloring and Arts), Circle time, Music and Movement time, Playtime, Storytelling and ofcourse . . .Snack time!  Heehee

Oh and you know what her least fave thing to do is?

Having sticky glue in her hand!

This is her when we are on our way home . . . 

Mastering the letter Z . . . . for Zzzzzzzz . . . zleep . . . .Haha!

Hope you had a productive day too just like our Ate! =)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

What are the Odds?

I went to the mall this afternoon to get a COUPLE of birthday gifts BUT went home with these. . . 


So yes, the above quote rings true for me, heehee

P.S. I did get those birthday gifts!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Late Post for Father's Day

I saw a Yahoo article over the weekend which asked why do women marry men like their fathers.  Then it got me thinking if I did?

I do see some of my dad's traits (and they even share the same views/opinions on some matters) in James.  But I didn't marry him because of that.  They both have their own strengths and are special in their own way.

But if there's one thing they both have. . . it's their ability to make me feel loved, safe and well taken care of.

And for that I am grateful to . . .

My First Love

And Last . . .

To the two most important men in my life

Happy Father's Day!

Wedding Photos by Mimi and Karl

Ate's Birthday Cake

I've mentioned in the previous post about Ate's 2nd Birthday celebration.  Do you know what was my most favorite thing in the party?!!!  Her cake!  I think throwing her a party was just my excuse to get a cake!  Haha!  

I am a dessert person.  Cakes are up there in my list of favorite desserts!  I love looking at them . . . most especially, eating them!  

We haven't hosted a lot of parties (more of we don't, haha!) to know who makes a good cake in our city.  I could have ordered a cake from a popular Filipino fastfood chain and bakery but I wanted Ate's cake to be more special.  So I ordered it from Zendy's.

My love for Zendy's started with their cupcakes and cake balls (that were oh so moist!).

My personal fave - Cappuccino and Red Velvet

The first time I tried Zendy's sweet treats was only a few weeks before Ate's birthday.  I saw their booth at a mall and saw their pretty cupcakes and celebration cakes!  I was just satisfying my cupcake cravings and was NOT looking for a cake supplier since there were no birthday plans. . .yet!  Throwing a small birthday celebration for her was actually last minute. . . so you see, I did find an excuse to get a cake, hahaha!!!  Just kidding!

So I went back to Zendy's booth to inquire about the cake.  Since it was only a couple of weeks before the party, Russel (Zendy's brother), who was manning the booth had to check with her if she can accommodate my cake.  Because she does turn down orders if she has to.  And that's one thing that impressed me.  I appreciate somebody who is passionate about her craft and doesn't compromise her work Art for additional profit.  To make it easier, I just chose from their cake album.  But they do work around the client's design ideas and budget.  Dealing with them was really a piece of cake (pun intended, haha!)  They are one of the easiest and nicest people I've dealt with.    

Ate's Barney cake was so pretty and the cake (it was chocolate) was so good and moist (it still is, and it's on its fourth day!)  Our cake's design was simpler compared to the other cakes she has made.  You should really visit their FB page to see Zendy's work of (Cake) Art.

So guess what, I am looking for another reason to have a cake made again, hahaha!!!

For any inquiries, please visit their FB page.  Their contact details are:
Telephone No.: 0932-355-1011

Zendy's Slices and Customized Cakes has a booth at the G/F (Fiesta Capampangan Area) of Robinsons Starmills Pampanga (City of San Fernando) where you can buy their cupcakes and other goodies and see samples of their cakes.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Birthday Ate!

We had a simple and intimate family celebration of Ate's second birthday yesterday at Jollibee, her favorite fast food chain.  (It is her favorite because of the restaurant's character mascot!) 

Our Ate . . . cute as can BEE

There were balloons, party hats, games and prizes!  I think the adults enjoyed it more than the kids!  Haha!  There were only 25 of us, 6 of which where kids (2 of them actively participated, there were 2 who were shy and the other 2 were too young to join). . . oh, and there was also  a special dance number by the jolly bug!

When the hostess asked me what my birthday wish was for our dear celebrant, I couldn't give her a ready answer.  I guess because there are just so many things that I want for Ate that I don't know where to start and what to say, haha!

So I am making up for it through this post =)

To our precious Ate,

We wish that you grow up to be a good person, with so much love to share and compassion for others.  And when you find yourself dreaming, we wish that you will have the passion and determination to work hard and go where your dreams bring you.  And should you have any fears in your heart, we pray that you will have the courage and strength to conquer them.  Remember that we are always here to support you.  

Enjoy life to the fullest and be happy!

Remember that you are always loved.

Hugs and kisses,
Papa and Mama

Friday, June 14, 2013

Name Game

My  parents tried a new restaurant in our city called Cafe Noelle a few days ago and liked the place and the food.

So when an Uncle who is based in Manila came to visit us this afternoon and wanted to have our weekly family dinner, we thought of going to Cafe Noelle.  (Time to rest our taste buds from Japanese, Filipino and Chinese food!!!  Our choices just go around these three, haha!)

Mom:  Let's just eat in Cafe NICO then

Me: Mom, it's Cafe NOELLE

Since it's a cozy cafe, I called to make a reservation for our group (there are 16 of us!) but unfortunately, they couldn't accommodate us at the time we want since they already have a reservation for another big group.  (Funny that the lady on the other line was asking me what company we're from, haha!) 

Mom:  So I guess we won't be going to Cafe NICOLE anymore.  (NICOLE???  Nico + Noelle? Heehee)

Me: Moooommm!!!  Hahaha!!!  

Anyway, so we ended up eating at "the house that chicken built" (Max's!) for dinner.

We will save Cafe Noelle . . . (OR Cafe Nico/Cafe Nicole to my Mom) for another day.

And when that day comes, I will make sure that I will try this . . .

Photo from Cafe Noelle's FB page

The CHIFFONELLE.  Chiffon Cake with Yema Custard and Butter Icing. 
(A 50-yr old recipe of Noelle's Grandma)

Have a nice weekend ahead!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Checking out this Chicken Inasal

If you have been following this blog, you must have noticed that I have a particular liking for ready-made sauces.  I do because they make life easier . . .because I don't have to go and look for some special ingredients, haha!  Here's another proof that I am. . . Mama Sita's Insasal mix!

"Inasal" means roasted and is a kind of Filipino barbecue which originates from Bacolod, a city in the South of Philippines.  (If I don't have the right info, please feel free to correct me)  Though I know that Iloilo (another city in the South) also has their Inasal version.  Inasal has a more savory taste (its marinade consists of coconut vinegar, lemongrass, ginger, garlic to name a few)  as compared to the traditional Filipino barbecue which is sweeter since the marinade has sugar and banana catsup.  

For this super easy and super quick to prepare recipe, you only need a kilo of chicken and Mama Sita's Inasal mix (175 ml/pouch).  Marinade the chicken in the Mix, for at least three hours or best, if you let it sit on it overnight.
Make a few slits on the meat so the seasoning gets absorbed by the meat

You will also need achuete (annatto) oil to baste your chicken while grilling it.  Please click on this link to learn how to prepare the annatto oil.  Thank you Panlasang Pinoy!

Never thought I'll be able to prepare my own atsuete oil =)  It's really easy!

Set-up your grill and it's barbecue time!  

In manning the grill, Patience is a virtue, haha!

Looking good!

I know, I know. . . it's quite charred!  Haha!

Serve the chicken with rice, drizzle some annatto oil in it and top it with fried garlic bits!   Yum!  Oh and don't forget the dipping sauce. . . we used calamansi and toyo.  The other dipping sauce that is also paired with Inasal is vinegar with garlic, shallots and ginger.   

I am so happy with Mama Sita's Inasal Mix that I have already bought again! 

BUT there is a Chicken Inasal recipe I saw (by Panlasang Pinoy) which I want to try . . . and I will, as long as I find lemon grass and coconut vinegar!  Heehee

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

SkinFood's Gold Kiwi Emulsion

When I got pregnant, one of the things I put off doing was my daily beauty routine which consists of a toner and a moisturizer.  (This is just me being paranoid about the contents of beauty products that may harm the baby.  If you're pregnant and would like to maintain your routine, it's best to consult your doctor)

After giving birth and after the countless sleepless nights, I felt tired!  My eyes showed it and my skin just looked dull and tired too!  Haha!  So during a trip to the mall, when my sister went to SkinFood (a Korean brand of make-up and beauty products) looking for a lip tint (she was happy with her purchase by the way), I asked the Sales Associate what she can recommend for a mom who wants to rejuvenate her skin!  She recommended the GoldKiwi Emulsion.  I actually found it pricey compared to the moisturizers I've been using.  But the thought of using a product which was made from natural fruit products made it appealing to me.

Product Details (from SkinFood's website):
Moisture-rich, skin-whitening Gold Kiwi Emulsion restores and renews your skin from deep under, using a substance found in goldkiwis.

The emulsion's consistency is not thick and has a nice scent.  The thing I like most about it is it feels light on the skin.  Also, using a small amount of it can cover the whole face already. 

After a month of using it . . . when I took this photo while Ate and I were goofing around . . .

This photo has no filter

I noticed that my skin got smoother and more radiant.  When I bought it, I didn't know that this emulsion also had a whitening effect.  I only learned about it when I went to Skin Food's website.  This product had me at "renewing and restoring the skin", the whitening effect was a bonus!    

As they say, never be afraid to try something new.  I was happy with what I was using before but I'm glad I tried this and it turned out to be better for me. =)

For more details about Skin Food and its product line, please click here.

Disclaimer:  The effect of using skin care and beauty products varies from one person to another. Notes and observations about this product are based on my experience.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Baguio Faves and Finds

Just got back from a nice weekend in Baguio with my brother and his family.  It was Ate's first time to go to Baguio and her first out of town trip with her cousins.  Before the trip, I was planning on blogging about it, from start to finish, especially the in-betweens.  I even read foodie blogs hoping we can go for some gastronomic adventure in the City of Pines (I have my  list!).  So I thought. . . because the truth is, I won't be able to, haha!  I have a few, but how I wish I can do some more!  It's just that having four active, curious kids (a couple of toddlers, a naughty 4-yr old and a precocious 6-yr old) requires great skill, strength. . . and PATIENCE!  Haha!  It was a challenge to take photos AND chase my toddler!  That is why I have a few photos and stories to share.  The gastronomic adventure I was hoping for?  It didn't happen!  But it's okay =)  This trip was for the kids.  The most important thing is they had fun. . . and they can't wait to go back! 

One of the things I want to share with you are the goodies which I got from Baguio =)

Since we were staying at the Baguio Country Club (BCC), we got their banana cake (one of their best sellers, the other best seller is Raisin Bread) as pasalubong (gift).  We also got some raising bonnets which we found good.  (Tip:  We don't have to go to BCC for some raisin bonnets.  French Baker also has good ones!)

Another favorite stop for pasalubong is the Good Shepherd Convent.  They offer a wide range of goodies.  Their most popular item is the Ube Jam.  Other popular items are their Strawberry Jam and Peanut Brittle.  They do offer a wide range of food items (different cookies, other peanut items and preserves. . . I even saw santol champoy!)  For easier reference, there is a display shelf which indicates the price and size of the item.  You just have to list down what you want to buy, bring your list to the cashier and pay.  (They accept credit cards.)

I got these =)

I told my brother I want to get some Ilocos blankets since Hubby and I love the first one we got (as a present).  Since we didn't have time to go to the Baguio Market, we just went to Mines View Park.  

Got my blanket . . . and a back scratcher!  Haha!

I suggest you buy this kind of scratcher if you want one that really does a good job!  It is made of Kamagong (if my memory serves me right) which is a harder wood as compared to the ordinary ones.

For Lengua de Gato, Rico's is our preferrerd brand.  We also got to try a new brand for peanut brittle, Baguio Sweets by Mother's Best.  (Romana's is actually the most popular one).  We got it because its expiry date is in the bottle, haha!  It says May 2014.  I buy food items that are at least a year before its expiry or best before date. . . especially for peanut food items.  Don't you just hate it when the nuts taste rancid already?  

Just in case you're wondering. . . . yes, we loved the peanut brittle!  They taste like. . . I'm glad we bought it and should have bought some more!  Haha!

And just for laughs, I got my sister . . . 

a Barrel Man!

This is probably one of the most popular pasalubong from Baguio.  If you are a Filipino, you  know why.

And if you haven't acquainted yourself with Mr. Barrel Man here, here is something from Wikipedia that would help you:
barrel man or barrelman is a souvenir doll or statuette popular in the Philippines. The statuette usually consists of a crude male figurine carved out of wood, partially hidden inside a round wooden barrel. When the barrel is taken off, the male figure inside is revealed, sporting a prominent phallic protrusion in the lower part of the figure's anatomy.

While going aroung the Club's Greenhouse, I saw these cute of argyle print garden boots of Manong Hardinero and I'm totally crushing over them!  I asked him where I can get those and he said that I should be able to find them at the Baguio Market. . . which we weren't able to go to.

Aren't they the cuuuttest?!

So these boots are in my list. . . for the next Baguio trip!  Heehee

But my most favorite thing from our Baguio trip is having some "just you and me" time with my precious little girl.  It feels nice to sleep and wake up beside her (again) . . . something which I've been missing.    

But I got to tell you. . . I think we (us, the adults!) need a vacation from this vacation!  Haha!

Hope you had an enjoyable weekend too! =)
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