Monday, March 30, 2015

How To Keep Our Kids Busy During Summer + #PlayWithOREO

Now that it's finally summer, everyone in my house is so happy. No more studying... Hurray! Yes to sleeping in... Yahoo! More time to relax... Yipee! But, having a house full of big kids also mean a LOT of energy going around. I have to look for ways to keep their summer productive, and their minds and bodies occupied.


Ways to Keep Our Kids Busy During Summer:

1. Get in the Water

We can’t talk about summer without mentioning pools, right? Swimming is the best way to cool off the summer heat. Ang init na, di ba? Swimming at the club is what my kids will be doing almost everyday this summer because not only is this a very useful life skill, but it also provides good all-around body workout.

My kids eat a LOT of sweets, and swimming is one way they make sure that they do not carry any excess weight.



2. Get outdoors

Since it's summer, the kids often ask us to bring them outdoors... they love to bike, go on their scooter or just play with each other. As a mom, I would also rather that they have some fun outdoors rather than stay in their room and attend to their gadgets.




3. Get a book

Now is also a good time to motivate our kids to develop their love for reading even more.  One of the first things we did as soon as school was over was to head to the bookstore to buy some new titles that interested each of them. They are encouraged to choose their own books so that they don't feel like reading is a chore.

My daughter, B, loves classics.  Once she starts reading, it's so hard to get her away from her books na.


4. Get In The Kitchen Together

Summer is the time when I use cooking as a fun and simple way to spend time with my kids. Even when they were very young, I already involved them in the kitchen. I am sure our time together in the kitchen is a collection of moments my kids will recall fondly when they are older.

Now that they can manage to be in the kitchen on their own, I have asked the girls to take charge of preparing a meal twice a week this summer, and that also includes making a grocery list for the meal that they are cooking. But what they really look forward to is baking something sweet.

Get the recipe for my OREO Nutella Brownie Cups here 



5. Get Into Art 

Art is a wonderful way to express our feelings and have fun at the same time.When they were much younger, I used to gather all three of them in our dining table and teach them how to draw and paint.  But now that my J is older and her skills are even greater than mine, I got a professional art teacher to help her hone her skills.

She is in the middle of doing her koi painting here using watercolor.  How nice noh?


#PlayWith OREO

As you can see, for my kids, play time is also synonymous with OREO.  OREO is my kids' fave cookie sandwich, and we've had so much fun bonding over OREOs... whether just eating them, getting creative with them or cooking with them.

My girls and I did a bento box using OREOs. You can click on the link just in case you missed that post. And if you look closely, you will see the newest OREO flavor... OREO Strawberry Creme! I am sure all the young girls will get crazy over the pink sandwich frosting like mine did.






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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Japan Day 9: {Osaka} Osaka Castle



I know my Japan posts are just scattered all over the blog... and here's another one to add to it.  But if you want to read ALL the post chronologically, just scroll down to the bottom where you will  see a compilation of all my published Japan posts. Be patient with me as I round up the few remaining posts... which are coming soon - hopefully before the summer of 2015 ends. teehee!

Osaka Castle is one of Osaka's best known sight. Osaka Castle features an observation deck at the top floor and the main tower is set up as a history museum, with an observation deck that allows you to view the beautiful scenery of the Osaka Castle Park..

The castle tower is surrounded by impressive stone walls and moats.

The main castle is set up as a museum


Here's another view of the Castle


Some more photos as we toured the Osaka Castle grounds.



The Osaka Castle, being one of the more famous sights in Osaka, is always full of tourists which arrives by the busloads, although most of them only stay in close proximity to where the tourist bus dropped them off. Which is really a waste because if they only have the luxury of time, they should go around the castle grounds to be able to appreciate the beauty of the place much better.

Meanwhile, here are my two curious kids taking a closer look at the cherry blossoms.


Of course, the place is really so beautiful and walking under the cherry blossoms made us feel like we were in our own telenovela... so dapat may photo op! teehee!


The Nishinomaru Garden, a garden with 600 cherry trees, is a favorite picnic spot among the locals especially during the cherry blossom season.

The line to the Nishinomaru Garden 2 hours before the gates open



We fell in love with the place that by the time we finished touring it, the sky was tinted amber already. No matter what color the sky, Japan is a wonderful place for the kids.

Our trip is coming to an end soon. Two more days before we leave for Manila... and the kids still want to extend our stay in this beautiful country.


If you would like to read ALL my Japan posts, then feel free to click on all the links.:)

1. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2014/03/phenomenal-tip-my-10-step-guide-on-how.html
2. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2014/04/japan-2014-osaka-kyoto-nara-kobe-trip.html
3. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2014/04/japan-2014-websites-and-apps-to-help.html



4. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2014/04/japan-2014-snippets-of-our-vacation.html
5. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2014/04/japan-2014-where-to-stay-in-osaka.html
6. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2014/04/japan-2014-where-to-stay-in-osaka_25.html



7. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2014/04/japan-2014-how-to-get-around-kansai-how.html
8. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2014/05/japan-2014-day-1-arrival-at-osaka.html
9. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2014/05/japan-2014-day-2-universal-studios-japan.html



10. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2014/05/japan-2014-day-2-ippudo-ramen-osaka.html
11. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2014/05/japan-2014-day-3-eastern-kyoto.html
12. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2014/05/japan-2014-day-3-eastern-kyoto_16.html



13. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2014/05/japan-2014-day-3-eastern-kyoto-kodaiji.html
14. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2014/07/japan-2014-day-4-western-kyoto.html
15. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2014/07/japan-2014-day-4-western-kyoto-kinkakuji.html



16. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2014/11/japan-2014-day-5-downtown-kyoto-nishiki.html
17. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2014/12/japan-2014-day-5-southern-kyoto-fushimi.html
18. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2015/01/japan-2014-day-5-nara-nara-deer-park.html



19. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2015/01/japan-2014-day-6-osaka-kuromon-ichiba.html
20. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2015/01/japan-2014-day-6-osaka-tempozan-harbor.html
21. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2015/01/japan-2014-day-7-osaka-shinsaibashi.html



22. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2015/01/japan-2014-day-8-kobe-kitano-district.html
23. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2015/01/japan-2014-day-8-kobe-kobe-steak-lunch.html
24. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2015/01/japan-2014-day-8-kobe-meriken-park.html



25. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2015/01/japan-2014-day-9-osaka-hanami-picnic-at.html

28. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2015/04/japan-2014-day-10-osaka-osaka-museum-of.html
29. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2015/04/japan-2014-drainspotting-in-japan-art.html
30. http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2015/04/japan-2014-ways-to-save-so-you-can.html



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