Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Weekend Footnotes: Toast Asian Kitchen

I met up with my friends, Michelle and Rowena a few weeks ago to have lunch at Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room. I love exchanging stories with other moms of teens because I always get something out of it, if not a lesson, then surely a laugh!

It was also my first time to visit Ayala the 30th. The mall is still new, but I like that it's spacious and not so populated with shoppers, yet. I'll have to bring my family with me one of these Sundays.

Toast Asian Kitchen & Tasting Room has a new menu, and so the three of us agreed to meet up to try their new dishes.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Importance of Taking Family Photos

Writing this post made me reminisce about our earlier trips. Napa-punta tuloy ako sa 2015 album ko.

Look at how fast my kids grew.

This photo was taken summer of 2015. Ang liit pa ni fave son jan.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Healthy Aging with Nestle Boost

My kids are lucky that they have grandparents who still have the energy to keep up with them. They take trips out of the country with them. It's usually just in Hong Kong because the seniors have an affinity to the place. But I don't think the location really matters to my kids. They just look forward to spend time with their grandparents on both sides.

My kids cherish the times spent with their grandparents, and I am thankful that their grandparents are a part of their lives. Hanging out with them gives my kids the chance to relate to older people and how to anticipate their needs.
A photo with my side of the family, taken during our most recent trip to Baguio just last August.
This was at the garden of The Manor where we were checked-in

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

How I Enjoy My Teen Girls

I already wrote about it before... I love having teenagers! I really, really love this season of my life. I like the way my relationship with my kids have evolved throughout the years. I am able to develop the love, trust and transparency in our relationship. The older my kids become, the more I like being with them.

But I know there are parents who consider the teen years to be scary, and it truly is a lot of hard work. Our teens are learning to deal with their hormones which makes our relationship with them characterized by so much deep emotions.

For now, I have two teenagers, my youngest son will still turn 13 late this year.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Phenomenal Tip: DIY Beef Pepper Rice

Whenever R does well in a swim meet, he always asks for his current fave food as reward.

A few weeks ago he competed in the first leg of the short course season for 2017. Although, he wasn't able to meet the time his coach set for him for 100 freestyle (his coach wanted him to clock in 58 seconds), but still he was able to finish the race in less than a minute, which is still pretty impressive.

So anyway, we went home happy with two silver medals.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Coding For Teens

Gadgets are easily accessible to our kids. If left on their own, I am sure kids are more likely to play on their iPads and computers the whole day. I am lucky that my kids are into sports, this way I am sure that the time they spend on their gadgets is limited. But even if they are not on their gadgets for long periods of time, it's important for me that the time they learn to view electronics as tools for productivity, and not just an idle way to pass the time.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Hygiene Essentials from Sanicare

Being a mom to three kids, one of the things I always remind them is the importance of good hygiene. It is, after all, a major part of staying healthy. I don't want them getting sick because I get so stressed worrying about them.

But apart from wanting to avoid the stress I get when the kids are sick, being clean and looking neat also contributes a great part in their confidence. I am sure no one wants to be made fun off because they have body odor, smelly feet, bad breath or look unkempt.

One of the most important things I can do as a mom, aside from the reminders that I give, is to provide them with the right hygiene products.

My personal choice when it comes to hygiene is Sanicare. I have relied on Sanicare for my family's hygiene needs for many years. I love the brand because its tissues are made from 100% virgin pulp, which means less toxic chemicals that touch my family's skin. I can rest assured that it is safe for my family's use.
Sanicare Tissues and wipes are made from 100% virgin pulp and has a soft, cloth like texture.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Happiest 17th!

My oldest turns 17 today.

I see her walking in my steps in more ways than one as the years go by. This makes me pray that I am intentional and purposeful in the way I lead my life.

That my walk speaks louder than my talk.

This caused me to self-reflect: Have I placed my life under God's control? Do my actions reflect this?

Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. {Deuteronomy 6:7}

 My IG greeting to her goes:  
"Happy 17th to our family's big-sister, style-arbiter, silly laughter-source, spotify playlist-curator, good-natured realist and resident drama-"kween". Today we celebrate you and all the times you make us laugh out loud, thankful to God that we get to keep going - together. Parenting can sometimes be complicated, grateful that you ALWAYS make it seem so simple"

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Girl Time + Round-Up of My Current Fave Feminine Care Items

My oldest daughter and I were able to spend so much time together last week. But the reason for it was less than ideal... nagkasakit kami pareho! Both in bed rest nursing a fever, with headaches so bad we were literally in bed the whole day.

If our heads did not hurt that much, it would have been a fun time sana. It was just like hanging with a friend, chika all day! I did not realize until then just how much my daughter could talk to me so freely.

We talked about the most random of stuff. Every slapdash thought that passed her teenaged mind was our topic of the moment. She also shared whatever is the latest chika, and I got so shocked with what some people her age are actually doing that it made my headache worse... doubly worse dahil sa gulat.

Having fun on Snapchat! Taken during a recent Satur-date with my girls

Monday, June 12, 2017

G-League National Champs 2017

Done with the 2017 PhilSwim National Long Course Swimming Championship!

We spent three days cheering for my fave son at the Trace Aquatic Sports Complex from June 2-4, 2017. It's my son's first time to qualify for a meet that had him swim the preliminaries in the morning and if the swimmers are in the top 8, they do a swim-off again late afternoon. It's a swim-off of the best swimmers in each category.
He was awarded the Top FINA Points Achiever for his age group. 
I don't really understand it that well, but my son says it is the swimming counterpart of being MVP.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

{Weekend Footnotes} Cricut + G-League Long Course Leg 4

When my kids were way younger, I remember I would plan art activities for us to do at home. I love to DIY, and so every opportunity that I have to share that love with my kids, you can be certain that's the route I'll take.

Last Saturday, my girls and I were invited by Mommy Mundo to attend one of their #MomSchool workshops. It was a crafty workshop which promised to share the joys of making beautiful things using the Cricut Machine.

We DIYd gift tags and designed our own drawstring bags with elements cut out using the Cricut Explore Air 2.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Roy & Biv

If someone gave you your dream designer bag, for FREE, I bet your heart will pound with excitement! Shempre naman, di ba?

But what if the bag is in the color that you least like? Medyo panira ano?

That's because color affects human behavior. Colors have meaning. They impart a tone and emotional impact. Wouldn't it be great to go to a store where you can shop according to your favorite colors?

The Roy & Biv concept store in Glorietta 2 is one such store. It's a visual feast!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Every year, when my kids ask me what I want for Mother’s Day, I just say anything that they make with their own hands.

No. Wait. I first say obedience, I want their obedience. But since they are all teens already, I've shifted that request to self-discipline. I want them to practice self-discipline.

And then after that, I want a card. It’s true! That’s just really what I want! A handmade card with a heartfelt message.

For me, giving something handmade is always extra special simply because of the time spent making it and the thought process that went before creating something.

But there are times that my kids are insistent on giving me something material.

So if you’re one of those who still don’t know what to give your mom, here’s my round-up of thoughtful gifts that you can give your mom this Mother’s Day.

Basilur Tea
I enjoy drinking a cup of tea especially after a meal. I usually drink it accompanied by a little something sweet. Kunwari diet.:) hahaha!

I thoroughly enjoy each sip of my Basilur Tea because it really tastes so good, must be because the leaves are hand-picked from the highest quality green tea from Ceylon. 

100% Pure Ceylon green leaf tea,natural sunflower and cornflower and flavor bergamot (100g)

My Daughters' #TinyHandsKitchen

I love spending time with my girls. We're almost always together... shopping, eating, cooking.

I  cooking with them kase ang saya ng chikahan. It's where they update me with all their kwentos, and I'm talking about a lot of kwentos.

When we try out a recipe that's really good, they remind me to save it right away so they can also make it when they have their own family na daw. Go to #TinyHandsKitchen and you'll agree they are pretty impressive.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Of Sons and Daughters

Sons don't really talk much, ano?

Unlike my messages with my girls na full of chismis, my fave son is concise, "gonna shower na" - which is really his way of saying "I'm done training. Please pick me up."

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Philam Vitality Active App

A few years ago, I was into running. I would run 3k every other day. Occasionally, on weekends I'd join a 10k race. My time wasn't that bad either. Sub-40 for 5k, 1 hour 30 minutes PR for 10k. Not bad, di ba?

running with our friends

Monday, April 17, 2017

Phenomenal Tip: What To Pack In Your Family's Travel First Aid Kit

I’ve got all our summer plans booked and organized.

Last week, I restocked my family's travel first-aid kit.

there's a link to a FREE PRINTABLE version of my packing list at the end of this post

My girls are on a short trip with their ah-ma (my husband's mom) for some bonding and shopping because girls really do bond as they shop, di ba? Hahaha!

While the husband and I will be accompanying our fave son as he competes in his first ever international competition later this month. As it is with boys, I'm sure our trip will be spent eating more than shopping. Which is fine with me, as I'm not much of a shopper anyway.

As with every trip, I make sure that I prepare all the essentials so I don't have to worry about the what-ifs. Any experienced traveler will tell you, things can and occasionally do go wrong on any trip, and taking a well-stocked first-aid kit is always a good idea.

My medicine kit has evolved and been refined over the years. For a long time, I carried a big box like container because most of the kids' medicine was in syrup form so ang dami kong dala na naka-bote pa. But thankfully, since I've got teenagers now, my current container is a slim flat one and we just have one kit shared by everyone.

I just used a thin plastic container I bought from SM Home in Megamall. 

I actually make one big first-aid kit that stays in the luggage and another small one that can fit our bags.

The small plastic containers I used below are actually just the plastic containers from USBs that I got from press kits. They are the perfect size for a few tablets, some betadine and alcohol swipes, and band-aids.

What I pack in my travel first aid kit

The basics

The amount to bring will depend on the size of your family and the dosage/frequency you have to take it.  For my own kit, I always bring medicines good to take for 3-4 days, or the duration of the trip whichever is shorter.

1. Fever/Pain: 
Paracetamol (Tempra or Biogesic)

2. Colds/Decongestants:
Neozep Forte

3. Pain killer:
Mefenamic acid 500mg

4. Diarhea:
Oral Rehydrations salts

5. Allergy medicine:
Cetirizine 10mg
Loratadine 10mg
Benadryl AH 25mg.

6. Betadine wipes, alcohol wipes, bandages, bandaids, gauze + tape

7. Eye drops:

8. antibiotic ointment/disinfectant:

9. eczema management:
coconut oil
Zenutrients Argan All Around

10. acid reflux management:
sodium bicarbonate tablets

Digital thermometer
Kool Fever

I have a son who I brought to the ER several times, thrice for wounds that needed to be sutured. I jsut found this one at Amazon and I bought it. It seems like a good thing to keep in handy. It cost about $8.50 for 4 sachets.

For travel, the only supplements I pack are vitamin C and Probiotics

For sports-related travel:

1. Sunblock. I make sure to use a sunscreen that is broad spectrum, meaning it offers protection against UVA and UVB. Read up on the difference here.

2.Insect Repellant
Zenutrients bug balm
Cycles stickers

3. Relief for muscle pain
Zenutrients Muscle Balm
ice gel packs

4. Ear Drops (Swimmer's Ear)
Synalar Otic

Ever since hitting the big 4-0, my body has started to ache a little bit here and there. I noticed that I needed a little more of gentle care. I have started bringing around my own care kit full of products that are tried and tested to make me feel better.
Zenutrients Muscle Oil in a roll-on dispenser goes in my everyday bag to soothe away tired muscles caused by lola-moments. Fine, rayuma and arthritis! Pangalanan na yan! hahaha! It's pain relief on-the-go. The Zenutrients Muscle Balm naman is a lifesaver whenever my swimmers complain of muscle ache after a tiring training set. It smells so good also because of the camphor that my kids naturally fall right asleep after I massage them.

Hopefully we won't need to use our first aid kit, but I’ve certainly found that the best approach to family travel is to be prepared.

Is there anything I’m missing here? What do you put in your medicine travel kit? DO SHARE!

I'm also sharing the PRINTABLE file of my Travel Packing List. All you need to do is to click on the downloadable link to my PDF file, and from there you can print it out.

Click HERE for a free downloadable version of my packing list 

And if you’re interested to know what I think are the essentials for when our teens travel without us, please check out my post on Teen Travel Essentials (For When They Travel Without Parents)


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Reminiscing About DIY Birthday Parties + The Little Whisk

Now that all my kids are teenagers, no one gets excited for birthday parties anymore.

I would ask them if they want me to throw them one, and sadly, they now all decline my offer.

I remember when they were all much younger, I would make intimate DIY birthday parties that would allow me to express my creativity. I would DIY galore!

The most fun I've had was when I hosted a crafternoon birthday party for B.
I had a craft table set-up. The girls all had their own craft kits bundled up in a cute feline princess box. I printed out the instructions for each craft and laid out some samples to inspire and guide them.

Some of the crafts they did that afternoon:

Ang cute di ba? And to think, most of the materials were just upcycled 
from ordinary household materials

You can read all about the crafternoon  party here: http://thephenomenalmama.blogspot.com/2012/03/a-crafternoon-party.html

*   *   *

Another memorable one was when I threw a SPArty for J. All pof her friends were treated to an hour of foot soak and cleaning, foot massage and pedicure, too!

She just loved the experience of gathering all her good friends in one place 
and having lots of girly fun with them. 

We did a lot of DIY for this party also. We baked our own cupcakes. I designed the birthday banner and had it printed out. It's still with us up to this day. We take it out every year during B's birthday and hang it in our dining room. For me, it just makes the  banner more special because it has celebrated so many birthdays with us already.

*   *   *

But even if they have outgrown DIY birthday parties, they still request for me to bake something to give to their friends.

Carrot cupcakes are a fave, it's one of the most requested flavors by all three kids. They asked me to make it so many times already.

A Thomas the Train themed cupcake for when R was still in pre-school

Cookies of all kinds and flavors are also another favorite

Just last year, B requested for matcha cookies

There was also a year when J requested me to make cookie cups

That's it! I'm done reminiscing. Hahaha!

Last year, J requested for flamingo sugar cookies as birthday treats for her friends.

Decorating sugar cookies is not my area of expertise, and so I had to call in my friend, Maggie of The Little Whisk to help me out.

Maggie is a work-at-home mom of two boys. She started doing decorated sugar cookies as a hobby. When she was planning for her eldest son’s birthday five years ago, she was looking for cookie and cakepop suppliers for her Dr. Seuss theme but she couldn't find a supplier. That’s when she got interested in baking and decorating treats like cakepops and cookies. 
It started as a hobby and she would bake and design for friends and family. Until pretty soon, people she didn't even know would order from her. She is the best sugar cookie supplier out there. She's very easy to talk to, and you can really rest easy knowing that she always exceeds her clients' expectations.
My daughter was very happy with the The Little Whisk cookies she ordered from her. Just have a look at them.

The Little Whisk is a home-based supplier of decorated sugar cookies, cakepops and cupcakes for any event. It aims to make any event and every celebrant feel extra special through our treats. Our goal is to make events more special and to put a smile to anyone who receives and tastes the treats.
 The Little Whisk specializes in decorated sugar cookies. They create customize inspired and intricately-designed cookies depending on the customer’s preferences. The customers can either show a peg or tell the theme of the event and we will send over some sketch or design pegs.

Here are some of her works:

And I'm saving two of my most favorites for last...

Ang gaganda di ba? For more photos of Maggie's cookies, visit The Little Whisk on IG and FB.

To know more about The Little Whisk

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