Monday, December 18, 2017

TPM Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Are you done with your Christmas shopping?

I am almost done!

Gifts for the inaanaks were the first to be delivered as soon as the first day of December kicked in.

I am down to the last few people, and I couldn't be happier than when I am done ticking off the last name on my list.

If you are still looking for gift ideas, look through my suggestions below and you just might be able to find yourself done with your Christmas list.

1. ShopSueyStore

For busy moms like me, online shopping is a lifesaver. No traffic to deal with, no parking problem to contend to. Just scroll through the screen and choose items, pay online, wait for items to be delivered.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

My Son's Pasalubong

My son got back from his out-of-the-country school trip last Sunday night. We picked him up in school at 1030 in the evening.

The first order of business was a quick stop at Burger King. He was so hungry daw.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Shopping at Banila Co

One of the challenges of parenting teens is how to make our teens open up to us, di ba? I have friends who tell me it takes so much prodding to get a kwento out of their teens. When I hear that, I feel extremely lucky that my 2 girls like to (over)share their thoughts with me. Yan yung natural na sa kanila. I love parenting my teens talaga, and I share all the reasons why here!

But for me, more than having them open up to me, I want to be able to have a meaningful influence in their lives. Yung tipong, they will instinctively come to me for advice before they make a major decision. That's why I'm working on being consistently and intimately involved in their worlds, that's the only way to make sure they will actively involve me in theirs.

On my part, I try my best to be a good listener para they will feel comfortable sharing what's going on in their lives with me if they know I won't judge them right away. The key word is right away. I take time to listen first before I weigh in, kahit na mahirap gawin minsan.

I share more about my realizations on how to be a good by-stander in my teens' lives here.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Our Barenaked Experience

Just last month, J went back to swim training after a hiatus.

She was the first among my kids to swim. She used to be a pretty good swimmer, qualifying for championship meets/finals and competing on a national level during her grade school years. I even accompanied her when she competed for the Palarong Pambansa and the Batang Pinoy Finals

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Weekend Family Bonding with Globe Streamwatch Roku TV

Life with active teens can get really busy. Someone always has a meeting, school project, party, competition... the list can seem almost endless.

Sometimes it gets so crazy that one-on-one dates mean grocery shopping with me or the car ride going to swim training, but it’s moments like these that they remember! What this shows is that dating our kids doesn't have to be fancy or expensive. It just needs a child and a parent, spending time together and giving them our undivided attention. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

I Don't Really Miss My Son...

... that much!

R is now halfway through his 6-week cultural and language trip. I don't miss him the way I thought I would. Before he left, I thought I would be inconsolable and in misery. He is my fave son, after all! But it's almost four weeks, and I'm fine - because I know he's fine

We don't get to talk to him everyday, or whenever we want. The calls are scheduled down to the last minute. Just twice a week. In between those days, no news is good news.

credits to his team mentor, Mr. Moreno, for all the trip photos

Monday, November 20, 2017

#MomProtect: How To Proactively Protect Our Families Against Diseases

A few weeks ago, I saw some of my favorite moms for lunch at Grind Bistro in Net Park BGC. Like what usually happens when moms get together, the chika is almost non-stop, we talk about everything.
l-r: Michelle Lim, ME, Sabrina Go, Janice Villanueva, Mish Aventajado
 Thank you for the photo, Michelle Lim

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Gluten-free Moffles (Mochi + Waffles)

For the longest time, I have been using this recipe to make gluten-free waffles for my girls. Until the time I saw my friend, Sabrina, posts something on IG. She called her creation Ube Mochi Waffles. It's my first time to hear of that. She used glutinous rice four and coconut milk. Naintriga ako, so when I was able to get hold of ube halaya from Good Shepherd, I made sure to try her recipe.

It looks like any ordinary waffle, but when you bite into it, you will discover that it is so much better. The outside is toasted, while the inside is chewy. And please let's not forget the ube filling.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Cowrie Grill by Manila Hotel

Every Sunday is family day for us. We go attend Sunday Service and then we meet up with my MIL and SIL and her family for lunch. My in-laws are creatures of habits. They like to stick to restaurants that they are familiar with and tested to be good.

One of the places we frequent for Sunday lunch is The Manila Hotel, especially when my FIL was still alive. I remember in 2011, when Manila Hotel rebranded Cafe Ilang-Ilang, my FIL booked reservations for all of us to try the newly renovated outlet as soon as it re-opened its doors.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Mom Talk with Tintin Babao

Different women have different experiences when it comes to being a mom. Even as a stay-at-home mom, you simply can’t be there for your kids all the time. My kids are already 17, 14 and 13, and they’re growing into their own skin. The best I can really do is to guide them and then let go and allow them to turn into their own kind of amazing.

We all went through our own evolution. I’m sure a lot of mom will agree when I say I definitely am not the same person I was when I just started raising my own family. Lifestyles change, preferences change, and priorities change. Right now, my top priority is keeping my family as happy, protected, and healthy as possible.

Now that it’s November, we think it’s the end of the rainy season, but it seems to be so unpredictable nowadays. The past few days we've seen some downpour, and we all know that with rainy season comes a lot of sickness, so keeping my family healthy becomes a bit more challenging.

I’ve shared many stories about my personal experiences as a mom, and I love hearing stories from other moms, too. Which is why I decided to have a quick chat with a mom whom we’ve all seen evolve into the wonderful mom that she is now – Tintin Babao.
from l-r: RJ Dancel, ME, Michelle Lim, Janice Villanueva, Tintin Babao, Lyn Ching

Monday, October 30, 2017

Officially a Teenager

When R was younger, he couldn't keep still. He was always moving, running... anything but stay still. He would often tire his dad out. His dad would have to physically restrain him just so he would stop running.

Even when he was in grade school, ang hirap pa din nya talagang kunan ng picture. It has to be a candid shot, a setting where he is allowed to move freely, otherwise I couldn't get a decent photo.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

{Weekend Footnotes} Cowrie Grill + Nikko's Baking Studio + UPCAT + SoruIzakaya

Cowrie Grill by Manila Hotel

I met up with some friends for dinner at the Cowrie Grill last Friday. It was my reward to myself for the hectic week. It was the perfect start to my weekend!

From the moment I walked through the door up to to the time I left the restaurant, the staff was very attentive. For dinner, I had lobster tail and Angus beef, which were both cooked to perfection. It's seasoned very well and is like cutting into butter.

There may be newer and fancier steak places, but you'd be hard pressed to find a better steak. I love this place! I will tell you more about all the food I ate here in my next post.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Rootote Is In Manila

My girls were so overjoyed to find out that one of their favorite bag brands is finally in Manila!

Rootote, the iconic Japanese brand known for its multi-functional totes and backpacks now has a store at the 3/F of The Block in SM North EDSA. No need to ask relatives traveling to Japan to buy for them.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Advice To My Teen Daughters On Finding Their Personal Style

My daughters used to go to me every Sunday to ask my help on what to wear, but they hardly do that anymore. Not that often anyway. They have somehow developed their own sense of style, and are now confident in the sartorial choices they make.

As a mom, I want to teach my girls that style is not just about nice clothes, but ultimately it is a balance about feeling and looking good. About being confident and comfortable in who they are and what they are wearing.
There are a LOT of times where we step out in color coordinated outfits, UNPLANNED. 
This is one of them where we are all wearing navy and Breton stripes.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Phenomenal Tip: What to Expect During An International Swim Meet

I just realized that I wasn't able to write a post about that time we accompanied R to his first international swim meet.

We were in Hong Kong during the last week of April. C decided that since the 2 girls already flew to Hong Kong with their Ahma just a week earlier, we wouldn't take them with us anymore. It would be a great opportunity to spend alone time with our only son.

This is the first trip that we are taking him by his lonesome so it's a double treat for him, as well. Imagine competing in his first international meet and then having mom and dad all for himself. 
I bet that made him feel like a winner already.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Christmas Comes Early with Digital Walker 2017

One of the things I look forward to once Christmas season starts rolling is Digital Walker’s Christmas Comes Early Sale.

I have already blocked off my Friday morning sked so that I am free to shop to my heart's content. My kids have a long list of bilins on what I should buy for them in the sale.

Now on its second year, the much-anticipated sale happening at SM Megamall Megatrade Hall 3 from October 6-8, 2017 brings holiday cheer by providing awesome steals for its customers ahead of the yuletide season - with discounts up to 70% off! 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Kalbi Jim Recipe Share

I originally shared this recipe in a guest post at Momma 'N Manila.

I've known Mish of Momma 'N Manila and one-half of Mothers Who Brunch since 2013. Because of the events that we attend together and because we share a common love for our family and cooking, I have gotten to know her and her family better.

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)