Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Nap Time: In Transition

I've never had sleep problems with Ella when she was younger. In fact, I was even a proud parent everytime I hear mothers whining about how tired they were because their babies were not sleeping enough...until Ella reached 1 year.

Even before Ella was born, I have been hearing advice from elders that parents and caregivers should prevent babies to sleep a lot for long periods during the day in order for them to sleep the whole night. That is not the case with my daughter and I somehow thought that there could be something wrong with that old wives tale.

"For babies, early to bed does not mean early to rise! Most babies sleep longer with an earlier bedtime. Many parents are afraid to put their baby to bed so early, thinking that they will then face a 5 a.m. wake up call. But keeping your little one up too late backfires, and more often, a late night is the one followed by that early morning awakening." --excerpt from the No-Cry Sleep Solution

I researched and found one too many methods of sleep training babies, including letting them cry it out. I didn't like the idea of making my daughter cry herself to sleep because I know as a Psychology student that leaving them to cry during the stage of trust vs. mistrust gives them a bad infanthood experience. Good thing I learned about Elizabeth Pantley's "TheNo Cry Sleep Solution".

By the time I read the Introduction of "The No-Cry Sleep Solution", I strongly believed that this sleep training is closely inclined with how I really wanted to impose sleep routines on my daughter. And for the first year, I have been relying on the book's concepts for keeping my daughter sleeping during the times I specified her to sleep. But now that she is 19 months, I noticed that it has become very difficult to place her to sleep on her second nap time. She would trick us into not letting her sleep when the time comes. And when we force it to her she would squirm hard, sometimes hurting herself, and cry too loud. I stayed firm in forcing her to sleep, still following the Pantley's first book, even though it was was seriously bothering me. And then I learned about Ms. Pantley's new book "The No Cry Nap Solution" and decided to give it a try.

"During the early years of life, nap schedules are in a continuous state of change. After a newborn period of all-day napping, babies eventually settle into a regular two-nap-a-day routine. Most children switch from these two daily naps to one nap sometime between the ages of 12 and 24 months. However, that year of difference is a very long span of time. This shows that age alone is not the only factor to consider when changing your baby’s nap routine.

"Signs That Your Child Is Ready to Change to ONE DAILY NAP.
• When you put your child down for a nap he plays or fusses before falling asleep, and then takes only a short nap, or never falls asleep at all
• Your child can go for car rides early in the day and not fall asleep in the car
• When your child misses a nap he is cheerful and energetic until the next nap or bedtime
• Your child naps well for one of his naps, but totally resists the other nap"

--excerpts from The No-Cry Nap Solution

So now I get it. I should really change Ella's sleeping habits. Ms. Pantley saved me again! Will post about results soon!

Love lots,

Monday, June 29, 2009

Why I'm Switching To Organic Products

One of my colleagues noticed that almost all the products I let my family use are organic. She advised me not to continue making Ella depend on organic products, but the time for conversation was too limited that I wasn't able to ask why. As it lingered in my head, I was thinking about the reason and what bessy said made sense. They were thinking that because Ella is so used to organic, regular products with synthetic ingredients may cause her allergic reactions.

This is kind of a concerning idea to me. Synthetic ingredients are hyper-allergenic on their own to begin with. Pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies buffer the toxicity of these ingredients with other ingredients so that they'd be, at least, "HYPO" -allergenic or "LESS" -allergenic. So do we really need to use them so that our skin develops immunity on them over time?

To each his own, I must say. I wouldn't mind smothering Ella with organic products until she has the mind of her own to decide whether she'd go green or not. But it's not just ourselves and our loved ones we protect when we choose biodegradeable organic products. We also protect MOTHER NATURE.

Check out some of the ingredients we've been avoiding recently:

Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40)

A very drying and irritating solvent and dehydrator that strips your skin's natural acid mantle, making us more vulnerable to bacteria, moulds and viruses. It is made from propylene, a petroleum derivative. It may promote brown spots and premature aging of skin.

Anionic Surfactants:

* Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
* Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
* Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS)
* Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALES)
* Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate
* Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate
* Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate
* Potassium Coco Hydrolysed Collagen
* TEA (Triethanolamine) Lauryl Sulfate
* TEA (Triethanolamine) Laureth Sulfate
* Lauryl or Cocoyl Sarcosine
* Disodium Oleamide Sulfosuccinate
* Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate
* Disodium Dioctyl Sulfosuccinate etc

Anionic refers to the negative charge these surfactants have. They may be contaminated with nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic. Surfactants can pose serious health threats. They are used in car washes, as garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers - and in 90% of personal-care products that foam.

DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), & TEA (triethanolamine)

Often used in cosmetics to adjust the pH, and used with many fatty acids to convert acid to salt (stearate), which then becomes the base for a cleanser. TEA causes allergic reactions including eye problems, dryness of hair and skin, and could be toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time.

Nitrosating Agents:

* 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol
* Cocoyl Sarcosine
* DEA compounds
* Imidazolidinyl Urea
* Formaldehyde
* Hydrolysed Animal Protein
* Lauryl Sarcosine
* MEA compounds
* Quaternium-7, 15, 31, 60, etc
* Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
* Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
* Sodium Laureth Sulfate
* Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
* Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate
* TEA compounds

The following chemicals can cause nitrosamine contamination, which have been determined to form cancer in laboratory animals. There are wide and repeated concerns in the USA and Europe about the contamination of cosmetics products with nitrosamines.


Fragrance on a label can indicate the presence of up to four thousand separate ingredients, many toxic or carcinogenic. Symptoms reported to the USA FDA include headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and skin irritation. Clinical observation proves fragrances can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, and irritability.

Mineral Oil

* Mineral oil
* Liquidum paraffinum (also known as posh mineral oil!)
* Paraffin oil
* Paraffin wax
* Petrolatum

Petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic, clogging the pores. Interferes with skin's ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. Slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging. Used in many products (baby oil is 100% mineral oil!) Any mineral oil derivative can be contaminated with cancer causing PAH's (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons). Manufacturers use petrolatum because it is unbelievably cheap.

Paraben preservatives (methyl, propyl, butyl, and ethyl)

Used as inhibitors of microbial growth and to extend shelf life of products. Widely used even though they are known to be toxic. Have caused many allergic reactions and skin rashes. Highly toxic.


Toxic gender bending chemical used as a plasticizer in food wraps and many pliable plastics and containers. Also used in hairsprays and some cosmetics including nail varnishes from where it is readily absorbed into the system. All 289 people in a recent test for body load of chemicals tested positive for phthalates. Phthalates are implicated with low sperm counts and also causing sexual abnormalities and deformities.

Silicone derived emollients:

* Dimethicone
* Dimethicone Copolyol
* Cyclomethicone

Silicone emollients are occlusive - that is they coat the skin, trapping anything beneath it, and do not allow the skin to breathe (much like plastic wrap would do.). Some synthetic emollients are known tumour promoters and accumulate in the liver and lymph nodes.


Several studies have established preliminary links between talc and pulmonary issues, lung cancer, skin cancer and ovarian cancer. Scientists have been aware of the toxicity of talc since the late 1960s, and in 1971 researchers found particles of talc embedded in 75 percent of the ovarian tumors studied.

No one says we're immune to allergic reactions just because they're organic...that would still depend on anyone's sensitivity. But the thing is, if we get to try them and they work for us, not only will they give us unmasked results, they also help us save the world!

...my Human Heart Nature mini haul!

According to Human Heart Nature, "In simple terms, organic products are those whose ingredients are processed with absolutely NO synthetic chemicals." And that includes soil is void of synthetic fertilizer, plants not showered with growth and quality enhancers and extraction of beneficial properties doesn't entail any chemical procedure. Any product could be natural as long as it has natural ingredients, but not all of them are organic.

chemical ingredients information taken from:


Way Better Than Well Wellness Fair from Nestle

In line with nutrition month (...come to think of it, July IS nutrition month!), everyone is invited to The Joy Of Wellness Fair by Nestle this coming weekend, July 4-5, 2009 at the SM Megamall Megatrade Hall 2!

Event includes interactive games, seminars, cooking demos, and fitness activities! And what's best, ENTRANCE IS FREE!!!

So what are we waiting for? Spread the Joy of Wellness to your family and friends now!

Please check www.choosewellness.com.ph for more details.

Love lots,

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Recipe of the Day: Burger Steak

Try this innovation to the Salisbury Steak!

1/2 kg ground beef or pork
2 red onions chopped
1 tsp iodized salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup cornstarch
1 egg
1 tbsp garlic, minced1 can sliced mushrooms
1 pack Knorr mushroom soup
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic

1. Mix ground meat, onions, salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1/2 cup cornstarch, and egg in a mixing bowl. Once everything is mixed thoroughly, take a handful and flatten to create burgers patties.

2. Steam each burger patty until the form is solid. Haul the patties and fry to a golden brown color. Set aside.

3. Follow the procedures in cooking mushroom soup according to package instructions. Add garlic, 1/2 cup cornstarch and soy sauce and stir until desired thickness is achieved. Add 1 tsp pepper (...this is actually the same recipe to copy the Jollibee's gravy!)

4. Stir fry mushroom for 5 minutes and add to gravy. Pour mixture over burgers.

It would more likely taste the same as Jollibee's if you use beef for your patties! Enjoy!

Help Me, Help Me Please....

We originally paid 3000 per month to our first 3 helpers but realized that our house is pretty easy to maintain and our daughter very easy to take care of. So we adjusted it to 2500 per month on our 4rd to 6th helper. You may have noticed...6 helpers? Drew and I haven't even reached 2 years by ourselves!

So yes, we do have a LOT of problems with helpers. Gone are the days when nannies and helpers really put their heart to their jobs like what our helpers used to do when we were kids.

The first helper's problem was being separated from her daughter, she wanted to take days off every 2 weeks, which we gladly agreed to. However she ALWAYS failed to get back on time. And not just minutes but hours away from the time she's scheduled to come back. This jeopardizes our sleep to get to work the night shift.Then one day, her family called and informed us they were all food poisoned by red eggs. Fortunately, her daughter wasn't poisoned, but no one is going to take care of her for a couple of days. So she left.

We can't stay without a helper for even a day so we'd really have to replace the first one even if she's offering to come back once her family is well again. So we hired our 2nd helper. The problem with her is that she wouldn't do some chores unless you tell her to. I brief each and every helper before they even start working, but for some reason, this helper may have forgottern her job description. So I keep on reminding her and it got to Drew's nerves. She was reprimanded for this and got better. However, she went on day off and went back ill with a severe UTI. We can't kepp her because she's got chills and had to go every 12 hours to the hospital to take injections c/o us. We let her go with P400 damage.

My uncle then referred another helper. She was boasting about having worked at rich people's houses and having a possibility of working abroad. We were supposed to lower the usual salary to 2500 but she requested we keep the 3000 and tried to prove she was worth it. It was time for Ella's laundry and the helper did that too! The next day, she said her family texted her and informed her that her daughter is sick. It seemed like she's not going to come back, so we discussed this with her. She had a lot of alibis, saying that she may be able to get an update regarding work abroad and may not be able to come back. So we just paid her for a day's work and let her go, not expecting her to come back. Later on we found out that she used bleach on Ella's clothes and ruined most of them. I wonder if that's what urged her to leave or the issues with her family and work abroad.

The helper of one of Drew's aunts referred her cousin. She was ok, so-so. But we're really not expecting anything great because we're kinda used to them helpers. Days went on and she was actually fine. However, she has a half-brother here in Manila whom she goes to every day off. That half-brother is taking over everything in her life...takes her salary, dictates the time she leaves home, etc. One day, she requested to take a crash few hours off to attend her nephew's kindergarten graduation. We obliged, even though it was the time of the month when our company changes our work scheds, giving us only 1 day off as interim, and the night before was our program's anniversary party. The goodness in me left when she arrived late the next day after texting the night before saying she will be late, sending another text saying she'll be late for another 2 hours, and her brother calling in around 9 in the evening saying she can't get home that night because the graduation isn't over yet. Like, HELLO? Kindergarten graduation started at 2 pm and won't be over past 9pm? Come on!

Drew's aunt's helper from Bacolod referred another helper who have never been to Manila. We thought this one's going to last, but we were wrong. In a nutshell, she's an ingrate, she's proud, she eats a lot (--5 times rice and viand a day..beat that!), she refuses to do chores, she's lazy, she speaks mostly in their dialect, she walks away or stays silently angry when reprimanded, she threatens to leave us and work for a neighbor... ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH! This list can go on! If I didn't have asthma the day we fired her, I could've slapped her in the face. Can you imagine? She doesn't have a cellphone to contact anyone, doesn't know anyone in Manila, doesn't have any money (she owed us a total of 1800 for her fare to come to Manila and other stuff) and she had the nerve to show bad attitude?! Drew got sick and tired of her, so drew sent her at the barangay hall, informed them of what heppened and left her there. We don't know what happened with her.

Lastly, our current helper. She was referred by my aunt. I thought I'd be able to put her under reins because she was referred by a close family member. But then again, I was wrong. She was older than us, unlike the helpers who lasted more than a day. When she came over she asked for an advance of P1300 to give to the family she left. During her first few weeks, I was impressed by the work she displays that I was thinking of not subtracting from her salary if she lasts more than a year with us. Good thing I didn't blurt that out. A couple more days with us and she became disorganized and lazy. She failed to do some daily chores that we had to reprimand her a bit create another poster in the house reminding her of daily, weekly and occasional tasks. She was able to follow for a good 2 days but we can't seem to get it right forever. She's originally from the slums, and though I don't have anything against them, they have a unique attitude that people not living in the slums can't seem to live up with. Another problem there is, she sometimes applies those ways to how she manages our house, and my kid! She talks a lot and whenever we have stories to share, she'll share a similar story or something that would top ours. She's also complaining about back pains she got from her previous work affecting her job and tells us of the possibility of her leaving work. Ok, so she's not my favorite helper, but please, next helper: please stand up!

It would really be nice if I could quit work and just stay in the house. I'd be able to boost Ella's development, cook good food day and night (helpers don't do the cooking, btw...), laundry and fold our clothes neatly (our helpers use autiomatic washing machine...), and still have enough energy to do a LOT of things. However the salary we pay helpers CAN NEVER match what I'm earning. *sigh* I guess I'd have to just live with it until such time we have already saved enough for an at-home business and I'd be a work-at-home-mom.

Love lots,

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Beauty Inspiration: Megan Fox

Woot! Woot! Ain't she hot?! LOL! I may sound like an old bearded man with a large belly, drinking beer at some local strip club...but hey! Isn't Megan Fox Sexy to boot?!

We watched "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" today, c/o the company we work for and it reminded me how much I should really get my pre-maternity body back. I wouldn't be able to stick to a yummy, semi-vegetarian type of diet because vegetables for these kinds of recipes are sooo pricey these days. And especially because my menu would be different from the rest of my family memebers, that plan simply wouldn't work for our budget. So I resulted to replacing 2 meals with oat meal. And, added with 30 minutes of Hip Hop Abs dancing, I noticed satisfactory results in as short as 2 weeks!

However, because of our never ending helper problems (...more on this tomorrow!), I would eventually have to give up the routine, switch back to regular food and quit exercising. Otherwise, I wouldn't have enough time and energy to take care of my daughter, the house, the food and other household chores a helper could have done.

So now that we have a new helper (who is also subconsciously threatening a resignation but is presumably going to stay at least for another 4 months...), I am going to continue trying to get sexy back! And Megan Fox is my inspiration! As well as 2nd year high school friend who messaged me at Friendster earlier this morning (...who also happened to have grown up very pretty and sexy!).

...me before Ella: my target!

Everyone! Please support me on this!

Love lots,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Spend vs Save: Baby Edition

CORRECTION 01/27/2010: Baby Salve sells for Php 200 only! I must've included what I paid for shipping...sorry!

Even though I may be an OC mom, I don't just go around looking for stuff for my daughter and buy them whether they're affordable or not. I always look for alternatives and most of the time, I find the local products cheaper than their stateside counterparts. So here's my finds and hopefully, you can take your shot on them too!


Spend: Baby Legs Leg Warmers

...can be bought from Indigo Manila for P600 a pair or P1650 for any 3 pairs + shipping.

vs Save: Osh Kosh B'Gosh Arm/Leg Warmers

...can be bought at any SM Department Store's Children's Section (where the socks are) for P199.

...Ella wearing Osh Kosh leg warmers


Spend: Earth Mama and Angel Baby Bottom Balm

...can be bought for pre-order from Baby and Mum Essentials for P800 per 60ml tub + shipping.

vs Save: By Nature Handmade Soaps Baby Salve

...can be bought from By Nature Handmade Soaps for P260 per 250g tub.


Spend: Gerber Grins and Giggles Baby Wash

...can be bought from Chubby Cheeks Baby for P285 per 15ml + shipping.

vs Save: Human Heart Nature Aloe Vera & Chamomile Baby Shampoo and Body Wash

...can be bought from Human Heart Nature for P99.75 per 200ml bottle.


Spend: Burt's Bees Herbal Insect Repellant

...can be bought from Baby Uno for Php 650 per 4 fl.oz bottle + shipping.

vs Save: Bioneem Insect Repellant

...can be bought from Bioneem E-store for P325 per 110ml and P485 per 250ml tube + shipping.


Spend: Orajel Training Toothpaste

...can be bought by pre-order from Chubby Cheeks Baby for P320 per 1.5oz tube.

vs Save: Sansfluo Tooth Gel

...can be bought from any SM Department Store's Children's Section for P110 per 50ml tube.

(...thanks to the sellers for some of the pictures, click on store names to get to seller's websites.)

Cant' think of anything else we use at the moment...It's up to you whether to spend or save with these suggestions...Good luck!

Love lots,

Beauty is Art...My Thoughts on Make Up

...this is not a lot, believe me!
Eversince I was little, I was really fascinated with all the beauty products I see on my mother's dresser that I try all of them when she's not around. Growing up, I experimented on my own and learned to love beauty and make-up all the more! I initially thought that imported beauty products would give the best quality and stuck to that idea for the longest time. Maybe because it looked sooo good for my foreign counterparts and they never seemed to have the slightest skin problems...or so I thought! Until I almost dreaded wearing make-up under the sun because of a stinging/itchy sensation, not to mention the not too natural finish it leaves on my face. So I stopped.
But my love for beauty and make-up never ceased. I still found myself buying face cream, facial scrub, tinted moisturizer, lipstick, lip gloss, etc, from time to time. I even became an apprentice for the make-up department of my school's theater org wherein I'd have to use my own make-up collection most of the time. I continued doing make-up for other people until I ran out of stuff and really stopped there. One thing led to another in my life and I really had to take vanity to the backseat. It was good timing that I met my uber supportive husband and got this new decent paying job, learned about mineral make-up, beauty blogs, forums and online stores. From there I learned a lot of things and continued to do my own solo research on some of them.
I learned that because the veins in my hands appear green, I have yellow undertone. And that if it were blue, I have pink undertone. Or an olive undertone if it were both blue and green. From this undertone information, one could get the perfect match of foundation or concealer. Now I understood why foundation from L'oreal or Maybelline doesn't seem natural enough because most don't match my undertone even though they might be the right shade.
I learned that water or mixing medium would make any eyeshadow pigment more vibrant. And a girl can make her own mixing medium by mixing 1 part glycerin with 3 parts water. However, it's an eyeshadow sealant that would make it stay for longer hours on your eyes or turn plain eyeshadow into eyeliner.
I learned that the best make-up primers are silicone based and that their purpose is to prevent oil from surfacing and mask the face like plastic so that make-up just sits on it. It also prevents eyeshadows from creasing.
I learned that make-up artists use highlighting and contouring to bring out the best in the faces of most models.
I learned that talc is a carcinogen and that a lot of cosmetic ingredients are actually toxic to the skin. And it's shocking that most of them can also be found in baby products!
I learned that there are several methods in applying make-up, especially eyeshadow. And that some of them don't apply on almond/Asian eyes.
I learned that one beauty enthusiast cannot have too many colors of eyeshadow, too many variants of lipstick and lip gloss, too many kinds of blusher and bronzer, too many types of concealer, foundation, and finishing powder, etc, but keep on coming back to one holy grail (HG) product for each of these areas.
I learned that there are a lot to putting on make-up than one's fingers and the sponge and brushes that came with each products. And that there more tools for every detail of the face than there are utensils for each person on a royal banquet.
I learned that make-up and cosmetology is an art, the face and body is the canvass, and the make-up collection is the pallette.
Well, with everything I learned, I got to appreciate looking good all the more. I understood that people just don't go out there making people beautiful on the outside with a whim, but with a flaming passion and strenuous learning process. I understood that if I have enough of it, I could already start my own career. But then again I'm just focusing on myself at the moment and enjoying every minute of it. The world's beauty would have to wait...

Love lots,

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Father's Day Recipe: Pancit Canton

Yeah, I know it's late...But I really don't have too much time to post these days, especially now that Drew has his online business (...more on that soon!). So now, I have to catch up. We could still cook pancit canton any day can't we?


1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/4 kg chicken
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/4 kg chicken liver
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 kg shrimp
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 whole onion, chopped
1/4 kg pork
1 cup cornstarch
3 pcs chorizo de bilbao
5 pcs kikiam
2 carrots, cut into small circles
1/4 kg sitsaro
1 whole cauliflower, cut into bit size pieces
1 whole pechay baguio, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 kg pancit canton

1. Place chicken in a pot and cover with water. Add salt, pepper, soy sauce, ginger and sugar. Let boil then simmer for 10 minutes. Drain chicken and set stock aside. Cut chicken meat into small bits.

2. Wash shrimp and place inside chicken stock. Boil chicken stock until shrimp becomes orange. Drain shrimp and keep stock. Remove the shrimp's outer skin.

3. Add 2 cups water to cornstarch and stir until there are no more lumps. Add cornstarch solution to stock and cook until desired thickness of sauce is achieved. Add 2 tbsp soy sauce and salt depending on taste. If folks in your household prefer sweet sauce, add more sugar.

4. Fry kikiam and chorizo del bilbao.

5.Saute pork in garlic and onion and cook until meat is tender. Add chicken, shrimp, chorizo and kikiam stirring constantly.

6. Add vegetables and stir fry.

7. Boil water and add 1.3 cup cooking oil. Place pancit canton in the pot of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and add to vegetables and meat stir fry.

8. Serve with sauce and calamansi.

Love lots

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's Day Bessy!!!

Father's Day has come and gone again...It had been Drew's 2nd time and we had more than one way to celebrate how special he is to us...

Day 1: Mommy and Daddy Date last July 18, 2009

I was surprised because I intentionally planned a date with him using part of our budget to pay for everything. But then that day, a lot of his customers purchased speakers from him, adding a good sum enough to pay for our date. After a delivery somewhere in Libis, hubby and I went to KFC libis and ate a light snack there; Strolled around Eastwood and got a couple of stuff. And my, look at what he got me:

...seems like it's mothers' day!

We headed for SM Megamall and did some window shopping; Ate dinner at Tokyo Tokyo where I ordered my favorite Beef Misono; and watched the last full show of Angels and Demons. I really love watching conspiracy theory movies because it makes me want to learn more of the truth. The only thing I don't appreciate about Dan Brown's works is that in his attempt to make his stories unpredictable, it becomes more predictable. Say, the person who appears to be the villain is really the good one and vice versa...

We went home with a lot of chit chat and reminiscing about the times it was only me and him...But were not sad nor regretful. In fact life is more wonderful now that we're 3!!!

...tired but proud mom & dad!

Day 2: Freebie Day last July 20, 2009

We claimed our free Choko Karnival Doughnut from Krispy Kremes Ayala Avenue branch. How did we get them? Check this site out! I didn't intentionally time it for father's day. It just so happened that it coincided with the celebration. Drew loves chocolate so he really enjoyed the experience.

Another freebie was the package I got from Veet for winning grand prize for this contest. I was sooo glad about winning this because not only is my story a memorable anecdote of our pre baby days, but I also needed a good method of getting rid of bodily hairs! Another thing is there is an option to veetify someone you know, so I did one for my sister-in-law who already uses Veet and I suddenly became her favorite sis (...she doesn't have anyone else btw, LOLZ!)

...my wonderful gift pack from VEET! Thanks!

Day 3: Haggard Swimming Session on the day itself, July 21, 2009!

Drew has a father and I don't. So of course, aside from celebrating Drew as dad, Drew's father needs some form of recognition too. So they invited us to a swimming session at the Philippine Navy followed by dinner at the Marines Clubhouse. We had work the night before father's day and also had work the night after it (so you can see how I got the subtitle...). But even though the tight schedule, I was still able to cook up pancit canton for my favorite dad, Drew, by lunchtime.

Ok, so we didn't come to the Ayala Malls events...but then again, we're too afraid of the swine flu. But don't you think we were able to have a good time with our alternatives?

How about you, how was your Father's Day celebration?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Where To On Father's Day?

It's time to give honor to the most wonderful men in our lives...our fathers! Too bad, mine died when I was too young and my grandpa died when I was in high school. But that's ok, God gave me a wonderful alternative...my husband! And to celebrate this wonderful day, Ayala Malls is giving fathers a wonderful treat!

So who said social events are just for moms? Go ahead! Treat dad to a date he'll never forget!

Love lots,

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Staying Beautiful...

Yes...I am beautiful! If you don't even believe that you are, then who else will? Right?! And being a mom can be very challenging, not to mention time consuming! Especially if you have other responsibilities on the side, like your career, your husband, your circle of friends and family...All these are not excuses for any mom to look "loshiang"! And I must admit, I've had a fair share of loshiang days! But I always look in the mirror and ask myself "Is this the look I'd like to remain with?"...

Here's what I learned to stay a pretty mom...forever:

1. Get enough rest/sleep. We will never be wonder woman! So, it's perfectly OK to ask for help. Designate tasks to people around you instead of just keeping them all to your own. Prepare a schedule or a daily plan wherein you can get to do the things your good at and leave the rest to
your hubby or the helper.

2. Take as much supplements as you need to. Never ever scrimp on your own health! A few pesos spent on vitamins and minerals does a lot compared to those few pesos spent on medicines and hospital bills. You know the ad saying "more energy, mas happy"? I am a night shifter and I've noticed that I tend to just sleep when I get home when I didn't take supplements. But then I decided to stock up some multivitamins and vitamin C and voila! ...I have more time to play with my daughter, cook food
, blog, and not to mention, get some lovin' with the hubby! ..."Mas happy" indeed!

3. Insert exercise in your oh so busy schedule. 30 minutes of walking, running or doing yoga works wonders for both your mind and body as it helps you concentrate and it prepares your muscles for more strenuous work ahead. If it would really be impossible to get 30 minutes off your other responsibilities, then squeeze them in your everyday life: take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk or bike a short distance errand, scrunch your tummy muscles while sitting up straight, etc.

4. Buy enough beauty products to sustain your regimen. It
varies with people...but for me, my necessities would include shampoo, conditioner, once a week hair treatment, body scrub, facial scrub, facial wash, body soap, body lotion, facial toner, moisturizer with SPF, eye cream, face primer, mineral foundation, cheek tint, lip balm and a neutral lipstick. It would also be a bonus if the products you put on your face and body have SPF of at least 20 because uva/uvb rays make your skin look older.

5. Pamper yourself once in a while. It doesn't have to be a monthly or a weekly routine. As long as you feel the need for a salon treatment, manicure, pedicure or what not...g
o ahead! If the budget doesn't permit a professional to do it, then D-I-Y! There are a lot of salon or spa procedures that can be done at the comfort of your own home using your kitchen utilities and ingredients!

6. Make an effort to really look your best, EVERYTIME! We can always envy those out of the shower beauties whose hair may be messed up, skin -bare, outfit -anything goes but still look gorgeous kinds. Or take the time to style our hair, enhance our face and choose our clothes. You'll never know...your husbands ex might bump into you while you do your grocery!

7. Be informed on what's new in the beauty industry. It helps
to be informed and there are a lot of magazines and beauty blogs you can check out. You don't always have to follow the trends. What's important is you update your look as regularly as possible to avoid looking the same come high school grand reunion types of events.

8. Create a family plan and stick to it. Nothing would exhaust you more than having 2 or more toddlers in the same kulit age range and no choices. I had one day with my niece, Lilay, who's turning 4 this August and Lilay + 18 month old Ella? Goodluck! I originally asked to borrow her overnight but when the mother said she can't bear being without her kid come night time, I immediately obliged!

9. Have enough time to do the things that really make you happy. Attend charity events, go out with your family, have a date with hubby, cook, paint, sing, dance, etc. Keep in touch with your inner spirituality. Be good. Praise the Lord. Be grateful. Love others. Happy, loving and grateful people radiate beauty from within.

Trying to follow these steps, I have come up with this:

Not bad eh? Save from the fact that I haven't really shed off most of my maternity weight.

...hubby and me before Ella

Heheh! But as long as you feel beautiful, it doesn't matter what size of clothes you fit in. Nothing beats a compliment or two from my avid fan, Drew!

'Til our next beauty chit chat...
Love lots,

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ako Mismo: Dog Tag Day

I am ashamed of this, but I just have to admit...one of the reasons I initially got interested in the Ako Mismo pledge was because of the uber cool dog tag they had in the advertisement. Of course, when I got to learn more, I understood and really had the heart to take part in making a change in my own way. But it'd still be nice to really have that dog tag right? Say no more! Here comes "AKO MISMO: DOG TAG DAY"!

Hope my fear of the AH1N1 virus doesn't stop me from attending! Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaayz...Well, see you there!

Love lots,

The Happy Shirt Will Make You Happy

Tired of the usual shirts you see in shopping malls? Ever thought of a good t-shirt shout out but never got to find one? Then let THE HAPPY SHIRT make you happy!

Hubby and I should wear this!

Is this mine?

so anime.. .

More than a year and sooo in love, these two!

Teehee! I never thought I'd ever admire my younger brother and his girlfriend in any way until they came up with this! My brother is 19 and his girlfriend just turned 18. And what good entrepreneurs they are! Not to mention being a good artist as well because they are the ones who come up and make all of the shirts! Guess it runs in the family....hehehe!

my younger brother, Ian!

my brother's girlfriend, Camille!

Please support these two in their business as it is quite rare to see people from the younger generation take their futures sooo seriously. Visit their online store at thehappyshirt.multiply.com now!

Love lots,

Not Your Ordinary Chicken Mami on Recipe of the Day

I never really enjoyed eating instant mami, save for some time when I really don't have a choice. Well, everything instant has an original source. Have you ever tried making your own chicken mami? Here's how we do it..


1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 thumb size ginger or 1 tbsp ginger powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 kg chicken, cut into serving pieces
1 tsp garlic minced
1 whole onion, chopped
2 tbsp cooking oil
1/4 kg pork liver
2 packs mami noodles
1 whole pechay baguio cut into strips
1 whole carrot cut into strips
2 stalks onion springs cut into very small strips
1 whole garlic, minced and fried
3 whole eggs, hard boiled and cut into strips
optional: ground chicharon

1. Place chicken inside saucepan with enough water to cover the lot. Add salt, pepper, soy sauce, ginger and sugar. Cook to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain chicken and keep the stock. Cut chicken meat into small strips. If there are any leftover chicken bones, put them back into the stock as it will add chicken flavor to it.

2. Boil pork liver in salted water and drain. Cut into small strips.

3. Blanche pechay baguio and carrot strips. Arrange pechay baguio, carrots, spring onions, fried garlic, ground chicharon and eggs in serving plates.

4. Saute chicken and pork liver strips in onion and garlic until chicken is golden brown. Arrange in a serving plate as well.

5. Blanche mami noodles and place into serving bowls, around 2 cups each. Add a helping of chicken, pork liver, pechay baguio, carrots, onion springs, fried garlic, ground chicharon and eggs on each bowl.

6. Heat stock to boil, then switch to low fire to keep the stock hot. Add more salt depending on taste. Pour enough stock to cover mami and other ingredients. May serve 10.

Try this one for the rainy days!

Love lots,

Monday, June 8, 2009

Contest Time: Do You Like Your Partner Hairy or Smooth

(photos taken from www.veet.ca)

Hi! I'd just like to announce that Kikay Exchange as well as Swipe Some Gloss is giving away Veet products to the people who will best answer the questions: "Do you like your partner hairy or smooth?" and "Are you turned off by bodily hair?" respectively.

Click on the questions for more details and may the best hairy gal win!

Love lots,