Thursday, September 30, 2010

Eat, Shop, Tour in Subic

According to our intranet site, it's 85 days before Christmas and I'm so excited! I don't know about other adults who find this season depressing but Christmas still makes me giddy as a kid :) I guess one reason to be happier now is that I know Sophie and Sam will really enjoy this season especially since Sam is a toddler already. 

Last Saturday, I added more items on my xmas basket with some toys and kikay stuff I bought from Duty Free and Royal Subic. I'm now down to buying gifts for the category of non-inaanak-but-need-to-give-gift-as-well, friends, co-managers and staff. So when we headed to Subic to 'break in' the car, I was able to find very nice gift items that are cheaper there than here in Manila and brands that are hard-to-find. Oh well, it would be totally stupid to buy things there that's more expensive than in Manila. Quote unquote break in because nowadays there's really no need to break in a car but because husband and I are looking for excuse to go out of town and spend unwisely, we went for the 'break in' trip with his parents :) 

Anyhoo, I was able to buy also personal stuff like shirt for Sophie and a jogging outfit for Sam. Bought also Dub car vacuum for P400.00, Calgon shower gels and colognes (all scents really smell good!), goodies like Combos which were on buy1 take1 promo or $.38 per piece, etc. But I guess my best steal that day was the VO5 shampoo for $1.68, that less than a hundred for one big bottle :)

Alberto Vo5 Shampoo,...
We also toured my in laws around the area as it has been a while since they last went to Subic. We went to Cubi Triboa district where the monkeys are like dogs in Manila, they're just everywhere. Took photos of them for Sophie and Sam but with the windows closed for fear they would jump on me. We went further in the district and my MIL, being a daughter of a Navy officer, had a trip back memory lane the moment she saw the barracks in Cubi area.That's how their house looked like in Cavite when she was young, a tunnel-like structure with doors and windows. It was quite a big structure and according to my MIL it has a huge bathroom. Her stories made me curious of how the inside look that I want to take a peep but I noticed that houses are occupied and I found it dyahe to intrude. 
Highlight of the trip was lunch at Extremely Expresso in Sta. Rita Rd. where we ordered giant seafood pizza, meatball spaghetti, ceasar salad and blueberry cheesecake. We also brought home 2 very huge cinnamon bread (P50 each). I wanted to try their gelato but my stomach was about to explode! The pizza will make you come back to the place, the desserts you can go without. This is my second trip to that resto (first was after the Pundaquit outing) and it has been very satisfying on both occasions. The place is packed again but  this time were able to find a table. 

p.s. no photos still, upload problem :( 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sam's Teething Stage

This morning, Sam woke up again at around 430am whining. He's been like this since his molars started to erupt. He's got 2 out now so more to come :( In the past nights, I would just give him his milk, cuddle him and he'd be okay. But since yesterday, he prefers to be carried and swayed to the tune of 'Rock a Bye Baby' or the Barney song. Such a poor boy... it always makes me sad when my kids go through the teething stage especially if the molars or incisors erupts all at the same time, as with Sam :( Being a mom, it's like I can physically feel their pain and discomfort. Although they never succumb to fever (yes, I'm one of those believers that it is a myth that fever is connected to teething). I don't also like to use any teething gel or paste because they never really had positive reviews from moms who used them.

Since he can't sleep anymore he will pull me towards the bedroom door to say that he want's to go down to the living/play area. He will always say 'Dun' and point with his mouth, so Pinoy! hehe. Once there he would play quietly until everybody else in the household is up. He seems to feel better upright.

Being an opportunist mom (is that good or bad?), I grabbed those very early mornings to teach him a few more words and picture recognition. They say that a baby's brain is best working when they just woke up from sleep. So I pointed some pictures from their magic board : ball, shoes, flowers, apples. Of course, hands down he can recognize and say ball. Then there are shoes and other pictures, at first he was just staring at them as I repeat the words then suddenly he pointed to the picture of shoes and said 'tsoo'. I was so happy! afterwhich, he pointed to the set of apples and said 'apapap', that's apple to me and I can't complain :0 As for flowers, I decided to give him more time because it's not easy for a toddler to say these consonant blends. Sophie was pronouncing flowers as 'slowers' (as in slawers) for sometime before she can say it properly.

I hope Sam gets through teething soon, I miss his welcome when we arrive from work. Lately since he's been up early, he also hits the sack early and I miss his very ecstatic greeting. He's like a headless chicken running around frantically in his crib, doing all sorts of antics then shouting Bam Bam Broom! (which means Daddy's car is here) and Mommy! (who else:0 )  then later on making the paawa look which means 'carry me please?'. I'd carry him, of course, and return Sophie's very tight hug :)

Okay, I'm going home now to my babies :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

BC Bloggers

Calling all bloggers who want to gain friends in the blogosphere and build links at the same time – BC Bloggers 3 is now open. To join just visit Mommy Diary, read the requirements, and fill out theApplication Form.

Photobucket p.s. yey! i'm finally learning the blog world ropes. one day at a time is the key... :)
Finally! I was able to start on this new project last Sunday since it was stay-at-home Sunday.

But first a backgrounder on this bedside table: my husband got this bedside table from his grandparent's house in Makati City. It was his Lolo Maeng's(+) and for sentimental reason he brought along with him when we moved to our first apartment after marriage. 5 years, 2 apartments, 2 kids  and 1 new house after, the very old, bruised,outdated and very much loved table is still with us. I remember it became my constant companion during those postpartum moments (rather not go into details here). It remains very sturdy, though, carrying our old 24’ TV until now.

So, a few weeks ago, I decided to give it a new look I think it deserves. Photo upload is conking out so I'll just describe it as detailed as I can : it has very clean and simple lines, very oriental with slender legs. Will
remind you of those temples in Japan. It was painted in black/dark brown.

With white furnitures in right now, this one is getting that look, I say.

 First step: took off the old color and smoothen those bumps with a sandpaper, ask your friendly hardware what’s the best sandpaper for wood. I bought mine at Wilcon Builders. Sanding is kinda tiring so be prepaped physically. You can also pay someone to do this especially if you have ‘ngilo’ issue. I always prefer to start and finish my own project no matter how inexperienced I am so it’s just me and this table. This is my first time to do this kind of project.

Step 2: cleaned the dust off the table with a dry cloth then a wet cloth to clearly see if old paint was evenly sanded off. Any work I did on this is purely experimental, do not try this at home unless you trust me hehe.

Step 3: somehow, Im happy with how the old paint came off and once the table was dry and clear of dust, I applied first coat of white paint (quick drying enamel for wood). Once that dried, I applied the second coat. But, *yikes*, I read in a site that you have to use primer before putting on the first coat. I wonder if this applies to repaint job? Anyway, I left it at 2 coats of white paint.

should be Step 4: u huh, I haven't reached this stage yet but will really get to this : sand off the painted table again with very fine sandpaper, the one you use for finishing to smoothen the surface. Dust it off and paint you last coat. This should give off a very smooth and clean surface (I hope...)

I’m now kinda undecided what design to put or to let it stay all white? I was originally planning on stencil designs but realized yesterday that my designs are patterns are outdated. Now, I’m a dead end. Any suggestions?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Recipe Share: Beef Pot Pie

Coming from Big Red Barn in Pasig, husband and I couldn't get over their Beef Pot Pie and so he requested that we make one at home. I haven't tried this recipe yet and so that cook in me tried to internalize the taste of BRB's Beef Pot Pie and imagine the ingredients that was used and here's my interpretation of the dish:

Beef Pot Pie:
1/2 k. beef sirloin sliced (I used ground beef since we didn't have sirloin at that time)
1 small carrot, cubed - my additional ingredient
1 small onion/shallot, diced
4 tbsps. butter
beef broth (chicken broth broth will also serve the same purpose)
1/4 c. evaporated milk
grated cheese (quick melt but mozzarella is still the best option)
4 medium sized potatoes - washed and cut into two (normally I always cook my potatoes with the skin on for the fiber but you can opt to peel them)

Put the washed potatoes in a pot of water, boil until cooked. While potatoes are boiling, in a saucepan, sauté onion in butter then add the beef and sauté until lightly brown. Add beef broth and simmer until beef is tender. Add the carrots and cook some more (make sure to check on your potatoes ever now and then). Finally add the cream then salt and black pepper to taste. Always add the dairy product last so they won't scald from overcooking. Simmer until sauce thickens. Place in a casserole or baking dish.
Drain the potatoes and mash away! Cover the casserole with mashed potatoes and brush the top with butter. Layer with grated cheese. Our version: I layered it again with potato crumbs just to protect the cheese from burning and because my husband just loves mashed potatoes! Bake until the top turns slightly brown. This is cooked recipe already so you need to bake only to gel the ingredients together, no need to bake for too long.

Other optional ingredients: mushroom, peas, tomato sauce.
You can also replace the mashed potato with Betty Crocker pancake mix. Just follow the instructions on how to prepare pancake batter and pour on top of beef casserole before baking.

Enjoy you beef pot pie! :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Agham Road Demolition

It's almost 7pm, almost time to go home. I hope we will not have to encounter the terrible traffic caused by demolition move along Agham Road in QC. Seeing the news on TV makes you really question: what's with these informal settlers? How can they fight for something that is not theirs in the first place? An old lady resident said in an interview that if the government will relocate them, what will happen to their livelihood, their welfare, their children's education? The thing is, what kind of welfare are they fighting for when they are living in uninhabitable condition? Is a push cart or pedicab covered with an old blanket a house? Can an old stroller that's really filthy and parked on the islands a child's room? Can it protect their very young children from rain, heat of the sun and smog? Their livelihood? If you pass by Agham Rd. every single day as I do you can see that there are so many 'tambays' and kids playing outside anytime of the day. I wonder what kind of livelihood they will leave behind? Everyday, when I pass by that street I shake my head in dismay. An area where there are so many government offices is surrounded by slam communities. It is such an eye sore, how can the government turn a blind eye on this? Not only because it doesn't look nice but simply because these people do not have proper housing and need help. But the again when the government starts to do something about it, the informal settlers run amok.
These informal settlers will not be evicted from Agham Road and relocated to Montalban, Rizal if they have documents or land titles to prove the ownership of the property they live in in the first place. How can they turn their back and refuse the P200 a month monthly amortization for the housing project the government offers? There are so many families paying rent right now who would grab that opportunity if offered just to have a place of their own.

Anyway, I hope this demolition projects ends peacefully, without bloodshed and that all will benefit from this.

TV ad: Telecom NZ: PacMan

This is amusing. Almost everybody (from my era, I guess) loves Pac Man and will enjoy this :)
TV ad: Telecom NZ: PacMan

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Favorite Things

My skin is already feeling the Ber breeze. Although I'm a combination-to-oily-skin type of girl and does not normally wear moisturizer especially on a hot summer day (but sunscreen is a must any time of the day, okay?), it's a different story when the Ber months come. Early in the morning I can feel the tightening of my cheeks and so I make sure I moisturize only my cheeks  before I head out to the car. The morning breeze (we leave as early as 7am), the car aircon and the office aircon (that's not designed for people but for machines!) can really dry my skin.
I swear by Clinique dramatically different moisturizing lotion (gels for the really oil type) for those combination to oily skin because it's doesn't feel heavy, it's very mildly scented and my skin doesn't break out at all. I've tried other brands (local and imported) but they tend to make my skin more oily, give me zits or just feels to heavy on the face. This one is (dramatically) different and it's one of my Favorite Things :)

What's Growing Nicely in My Garden 3

Two weeks ago, our Kalachuchi buds started to open up. I couldn't resist but take photos because the morning light was so perfect and worth capturing. 

Then last weekend, the flowers were in full bloom! God's creation in it's most perfect form :)

Reminds me of a Bible verse I always try to remember when the worrier in me kicks in:

Then I start to relax and let God work His miracles and wonders in my life. That's how I let go and let God.
Have a blessed Wednesday everyone! :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What The Most Valuable Thing You Received For Free?

Yesterday, husband and I were listening to Mornings with Mo in the car on the way to work. This has been our morning ritual since husband discovered this show. Initially, I find the show disgusting and ridiculous but eventually I found it amusing (but still disgusting sometimes...). Anyway, one topic they had was 'What's the best thing you ever received for free and of great value?' Obligatory gifts (ex. education) are not qualified, prizes won at raffles also not! Those are lame answers. It has to be something that was given for no apparent reason. Some callers mentioned receiving a watch worth P20,000.00 by an officemate, a LV bag, etc.
Then it made me think, uhmm what did I receive that's free and of great value? The only answer that came to my mind was the First Years Electric Breastpump that my best friend from the States sent me when I gave birth to Sophie. It was so much of value to me as a breastfeeding mom simply because it helped me get through the phase with so much ease for a long period of time - 7 months ++ for each child. That's already a feat for a non-nice-to-six working mom. I carried it with me to work everyday and because it's electric, I only have to spend a few minutes to fill the containers. The kit includes an insulated bag but I bought a Coleman bag so the milk can stay fresher longer and I would just ask for ice from our friendly Figaro boys. Again, I spend long hours at work and I didn't want my milk to spoil and go to waste.

My bff also has a baby girl (named Sofie also :)) and she encouraged me to breastfeed for as long as I can that's why she sent me this kit along with other breastfeeding essentials like the milk storage pouches, pads and baby clothes in one big Balikbayan box! To further educate me on this very challenging but rewarding commitment that is breastfeeding, she sent the book Nursing Mothers Companion by Kathleen Huggins which became my bible for sometime. On breastfeeding, the book have a guide from latching to weaning, from co-sleeping to surrogate breastfeeding. It also contains a glossary of drugs, food and drinks that are safe and unsafe to take while breastfeeding. This is helpful because this is a much advanced research on medication in relation to breastfeeding as compared to what we have here in the Philippines. Sadly, even some of our doctors and health care specialists are not as widely educated on breastfeeding until recently. I'm just happy that the past year, I see some advocates of breastfeeding being more aggressive in this campaign. I try to become an advocate myself, encourage preggy friends and colleagues to breastfeed. I also pay it forward by letting my friends borrow the book. If they are willing I let them borrow the pump since I am no longer using it and I don't like seeing something as useful a gadget as this just gather dust. In the States, you have to pay rent for a pump if you can't buy one.
That's my most valuable free stuff. What's yours?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pre-Christmas Shopping at Fun Ranch Mommy Mundo Sale and Metrowalk

It has been a weekend of pre-Christmas shopping for my family and me. Oh yes, I'm one of those early shoppers for the following reasons:

1.) Avoid the December shopping rush, horrendous traffic, mammoth of crowd in the malls, Divisoria and bazaars;
2.) Spending little amount each month for the christmas gifts means not having to drain the bonus come December. I quite have a number of inaanaks, relatives and friends, that's why. In the previous years, especially when I was single, come July I already have a box or giant plastic bag for the gifts I buy by installment. I would label these gifts with the lucky receiver's name before I drop them off the box then update my Christmas list. Actually for this year, I'm quite behind since I already started shopping September but, then again, a mom's schedule just gets busier each year;
3.)  Take advantage of the Clearance/Mid Year sale during July/August and the September / October. They call it so many names but year in and year out, there are sale during July and September, that's value for money and hassle free;
4. ) Also, we usually have a family out of town trip or two during the holidays so we also need to allot budget for that.
5.) So I can enjoy my Christmas bonus to the max! :) Less expenses for Christmas gifts on December simply means more money for my personal shopping during holidays! Yipee :)

So last Saturday, the whole family (with the nannies) went to Fun Ranch for our initial Christmas shopping and it was a success! At the entrance, I registered and a very nice receptionist handed me a loot bag with Lactacyd items on it and a free entrance flyer for the next sale in World Trade in think. We were able to buy gifts (mostly from Big and Small Co.) for 7  kids and shirts for Sam. All items with 50% discount each! Mall shops only tagged 30% discount last weekend.
Mommy Mundo Sale had nice shirts for boys and shorts/skirts for girls. I bought 3 shirts of different sizes with 'My MOM has Super Powers" written on it and I think these shirts will benefit the mommies more than the kids, hehe. Of course, I bought one for Sam :) I also bought Sophie a pair of black gamuza shoes from The Little Red Shoe. It was so classy and pretty! I wanted her to get the red one but Sophie prefers the black one (well, the user should get the last say). It was originally priced at P900 but we got it for P600.00, nice deal for a pretty pair of shoes. Did I mention already that she's a budding bag and shoe addict?
We got there a little before lunch and after a few minutes Sophie declared that she's already hungry so I had to take a break from shopping and ordered lunch. We decided to eat in Big Red Barn resto (by the way, this was the venue of Mommy Mundo sale) since it was just so hot to cross to Tiendesitas. We ordered chicken and fries, spaghetti and Beef Pot Pie. It was the reddest  and sauciest spaghetti I have ever seem! This is the kind of Spag that all of us enjoy. The Beef Pot Pie was great too, creamy and tasty and the chicken can go well without the gravy. My only comment during our dine their was that the service was poor :( It took them too long to get our orders, to assist customer's needs and for orders to arrive. It was obvious the staff were disorganized and seem not so used to full-table day. If it was Diner Dash, they wouldn't reach their target earnings that day, lol.
Sam's ready for his photo while Ate Sophie's forever making chika.
Sophie in her Marks and Spencer long sleeve shirt (despite the hot weather!) and Pois and Belly skirt (not in photo is her new shoes, she wont wear the shoes she came with anymore). Sam in Big and Small Co. Tie dye shirt and Basix khaki pants, socks from Mothercare and shoes from SM. 
Sam and Daddy on a yellow train ride

Sophie enjoyed the yellow train ride too! She also played the fishing game  and won prizes for Sam and herself :)
After Tiendesitas, we went to Metrowalk and I was able to buy 2 dresses for another inaanak and Sophie at a very good price. Well, the pink jeweled dress with drop waist was priced at P300 but I haggled for P250. At first the seller wouldn't give in since it's their special dress na daw but she gave in eventually. This is one reason I love bazzars, the haggling. Being raised by a modista mom and a regular of Divisoria, I was trained to be a great haggler (sometimes Stephen pity the vendors, I could've asked the item for free na lang daw haha!) Also, I know what kind of material is worth the price or not so if it's really a good material and workmanship, I don't haggle much.
After the bazaar trips, we went to visit Stephen's grandma Mommy Nilda and parents Mama Karol and Papa Rey in QC so the kids can bond with the grandparents. Mommy Nilda made Chami Guisado which was really delicious especially with vinegar.
It was a fun Saturday all in all. Tiring but fun :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mommy Mundo Clearance Sale

Mommy Mundo and RCBC Bankard tied up for Mommy Mundo Clearance Sale in Fun Ranch. This is a go-to event for the weekend! Perfect place to do my Christmas shopping :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Weekend Activities

Busy busy weekends for us for sometime (or isn’t it all the time) now. Our weekends were packed with family and friends gatherings. If our schedule gets this busy, it always means holiday is nearby and most likely we’ll be this busy until December.

August 22: Hizon's Food Tasting Invite
Disney Themed Header

Got an invite to attend Hizon's Children's Party food tasting event at Oasis Gallery, San Juan:

Sophie gobbles down her spaghetti. She was so hungry because we came from church pa that day.

 With a loaded stomach she can now smile. Yep, that's someone's ass right there lined up probably for the photo booth. Sophie was served spaghetti with meatsauce, chicken lollipop, pizza and bbq while Stephen and I were escorted to the adult buffet with pastas, chicken, pork, beef and fish entrees and desserts. Among the dishes, we enjoyed the fish with tartar sauce the most. The dessert bar was impressive, it had chocolate (white, pink and brown) fountains, choco mousse in shot glasses and other desserts. Hizon's coordinator, Faye, informed me that Hizon's premiered the dessert bar during Claudine's wedding. 

Sept. 4: Family Weekend Party
 My In-laws came to visit with my nephews Chungboy and Chinky winky J We borrowed garden set from the clubhouse so we can have outdoor meal. Mama Karol , my MIL, layed out the pool on the garage and the kids had a blast the whole afternoon only getting out to get food and re-apply sunblock. We were blessed with a good sun that day, it was perfect for family outdoor activity but never forget the sunblock. Of course, because it was a family ocassion, Stephen’s brothers and cousins came too. Later in the afternoon, my sister Joy and nephew Keene arrived also bearing my new favorite things, pasalubong from the US! Thanks Ate Ne J

Anyhoo, photos of our mini swimming party:

Sophie, Sam and Garnett in the pool. That's the illusive Chinky winky behind them (not swimming, bawal)

Sophie in her ever kikay pose with cousin Garnett (aka Chungboy)

Sam enjoyed the water so much

Even Ariel got to dip in the pool. Skinny dipping aye! :)

Sept. 11: MacDonald's Parties Galore
We're off to two McDonald’s parties. Yep, that's two, one in the morning in Eastwood and one in the evening in Greenbelt. Actually, I realized just now, last Saturday I only fed my kids with Mcspaghetti, fries, chicken and sundae. Good thing, I don’t normally feed my kids fast food or else I’ll feel super guilty with that much fast food. But it was a fun day, nevertheless Seeing old friends again and Sophie and Sam brought home lots of toys from the parties. Sophie was actually shy to join the games but I told her she won’t get any toy if she doesn't join. And so she joined every game, lol. Sam wanted to join also but he’s too young to understand the mechanics so Ate Sophie played for him.

Sophie in her Hello Kitty shirt dress and my red lisptick (yes, I have kaagaw with my makeup as early as now)

Photo op before the games

The kids were asked to close their eyes. Sophie went the extra mile and covered her eyes with her hands maybe for fear of getting disqualified if she as much as peep.  This is only her second time to join a party game. The first one was Sam's birthday  :)

Sam intently stared at Hamburgler. Maybe he's trying to figure out what he is. 

This weekend we're planning  to break in the car and Subic is top-of-mind destination. We're going with travel friends, of course, the more the merrier!

Step Out! Avon Walk and Run Against Breast Cancer

I want so much to join Avon's Run/Walk for Breast Cancer. Our company is in partnership with this project. It's not only a healthy activity, it's also for a cause. I know I need to prep for this so two nights ago I ran again around the park for an hour (well, with walk combined of course). It was so much fun running again. What's more fun is that I finally have my energy and willpower back for this.
        Last night I wasn't able to run so I searched for my dusty Hip Hop Abs DVD and tried to do the 10-minute cardio/abs workout. This exercise I really enjoy because it's practically dancing but with focus on ab workout. I love dancing! I have been a dancer since preteens. I was a member of a dance group in college and always part of the cheering squad even at work :0 Dancing gives me a certain degree of fulfillment and pride especially since I'm not gifted on the singing part (husband is worried I may be tone deaf, how rude! ). Anyway, I believe dancing is one of my forte (aside from male bashing) and I'd like to be able to do that more often. Actually, last night I was thinking of joining a pole dancing or street dancing class. Never really specialized in street/break dance before but I hope I'm not too old for that. Oh well, one goal at a time. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Friday is Date Night

Friday being a holiday, my husband and I grabbed the opportunity to spend couple time. We first went to Trinoma to see if Despicable Me is showing. It is but in 3D and were not really willing to shell out P600 for a movie and we're not interested in any other movies so we decided to transfer to SM North. Wrong move to go out for a movie without first checking the mall's website or for movie schedules :(Anyways, finally got to SM North and we immediately made our way to the ticket line. Got seats for the 650pm movie. It was a little past 5pm and we still have an hour to buy gifts for the birthday parties we're attending Saturday.

After movie, we decided to grab a bite. That was around 830pm and, truth is were not really that hungry yet. I think it was the iced latte and iced mocha we ordered from Sebastian's that made us full. We decided to try this diner/take out  The Great British Take Out beside KOCC that serves fish and chips,etc. I ordered Power wings and chips while Stephen got himself a sandwich. We got an extra order of shaggy fish and chips as extra order. The food was okay, reasonably priced. Good thing we're not really starving plus because we were in for a food adventure that night, we are open to any taste experience. But I warn you, this is not a place for the starving because of the serving size. Also, for the Pinoy who have a penchant for tasty (as in malinamnam at malasang pagkain), they may not appreciate Great British Take out.

On the way home, we had time to talk about the movie and our verdict: again, it was an Okay movie. It was entertaining but I guess I had higher hopes for this one since it became numero uno in the States. The thing is, I think it lacks in terms of character development and build up. Aside from Gru and the kids, the other characters weren't given so much depth that they can be forgettable. Sayang because, for once, there's an animated movie that focused on the bad guys, the villains. The ugly, ruthless and diabolic characters that are pain in the ass for our heroes and fave characters. Compared to Mushu and Cricket of Mulan or Abu of Aladdin who are totally unforgettable (and lovable) support characters, the minions and the scientist were just there. Even Vector/Victor is nothing special anymore. I've seen the likes of him in Dexter's Lab or any other Disney animation. Could it be that because I'm an avid fan of CG movies, cartoons,animated series that I think I've seen them all? But hey, I watch Toy Story 1 and 2, Mulan 1 and 2, Monsters Inc. and even Little Mermaid over and over again with Sophie but they never fail to amaze and amuse me. Anyhoo, I still love Steve Carell and I think he did justice to the character Gru and the accent was impeccable. Gru was despicable but adorable at the same time. :)

Mushu in a scene I remember so well : he was feeding Mulan before the big training.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Taco Friday Night?

I'm contemplating on having a taco night again tomorrow night. Stephen and I really enjoyed our taco night a few weeks ago. Although our helpers and kids preferred just having the taco beef with their rice and tomatoes, Stephen and I love preparing our own tacos. The best part about homemade tacos is we get to customize based on what ingredient you like best. My taco is overflowing with cheese you'll never know if there are other ingredients there :0

All it takes are :

1 box taco shells (corn or wheat tortilla)
1/2 k. ground beef (choose ground round)
1 cup grated cheese (we always have more of this :) )
3 tomatoes
1 shallot
1/2 head cabbage
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1.5 tbsp. catsup or tomato sauce
1 tsp. hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste
optional: sour cream and cooked red beans

Sauté beef until partially cooked and oil comes out of it. Add soy sauce, catsup and hot sauce and cook some more until done and beef is well coated with the wet ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste (careful on the salt, please, because there's already soy sauce). This is my version of taco beef without the taco sauce (not particularly fan of it). 

Now, all you have to do next is dice the tomatoes (take out the seeds if you still have time), slice the shallots and cabbage thinly. The slicing and cutting part should be done at the last part to ensure ingredients are still fresh when served. Place each ingredient in separate bowls/plates. prepare an assembly line of taco shell, beef, vegetables, cheese and enjoy! Make your taco and eat it too :) 

double Taco Photo (725530)
    photo courtesy of:

On a different note, I have been searching for months for Lee Kum Kee's Lemon Chicken sauce. Been to Cherry, Puregold, Landmark and SM North but it's always out of stock. I really love this because it's so convenient to have in your kitchen cabinet especially on days when you're sick and tired of old recipes. I'm not really a big fan of mixes and sauces in sachets but LKK's lemon Chicken is an exception. All you need is a chicken breast fillet, some cornstarch, egg, a little oil and this packet and you have a yummy lemon chicken dish. Unlike other sauces in sachets, this doesn't taste artificial at all. I hope I can find one in the grocery soon or else I'll have to buy a lemon juice and make my own...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What's Growing Nicely in My Garden 2

I'm reposting this photo because,finally, found out it's name! It's a Lantana Camara Lucky Pot of Gold and falls under the category of annuals. Now I know...that's why it's stubborn to grow flowers during summer season and I had to relocate it in shadier areas every now and then just so it won't wilt and die. A few weeks ago, I found a permanent place for it that's forever shady... under the papaya and malunggay tree :)

I just never thought gardening can be so addicting! Imagine, I searched on the web for almost an hour just to get the name of this flower. Good thing is, I found some other flowers that are easy to grow (and maintain) during my search. Just hope it's available in the local market. 


Two weekends ago, Stephen and I bought additional ornaments for the front garden from our suking supplier slash future neighbor who has a Decostone shop in Regalado Ave. We added the gray slab of stone (P50 each and really really heavy!), medium white rocks (P20 per kilo) and the terracotta pots with ribbon designs (P25 each). Trimmed the shrubs, place the white santan on the new pots. Now it looks better, with a little depth and dimension :0 Stephen likes it so much that he's been coaxing me to go back to our supplier and buy more stuff. Anyway, last week, I let a Japanese wooded lantern (a surplus of our wedding giveaways) sit on the corner of the gray stone and it looks so much more like a mini Zen garden already. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On the road again -, Philippine News for Filipinos

On the road again -, Philippine News for Filipinos

Found this article from Lea Salonga on Inquirer.Net. Love the last part. Proud Pinoy :)

Sam is exactly one year, 5 months and 1 day today and he's been a really loving and sweet little boy with so many new words in his dictionary. Babies really have their own vocabulary and dictionary that most often only mommies can decipher. Here are some words he already knows:

Bam - that's daddy
broom broom - car
bam broom broom - daddy in the car
ati' - ate Sophie
mimi - mommy, sometimes he pronounces it as mommy :)
Barnei - Barney, his fave character
brutst - brush
bo - ball
bibi - baby
do - dog
mama - sama, as in bring me along please
brea - bread
bash - labas, ei. I want to go outside
damdam/papa - food - this is weird because he never watches cookie monster :0
mam - milk or water. you'll have to ask him if he wants milk or water, if it's the right drink he will give you a pa-cute laugh :)
pee - airplane
toto - his little pototoy
toto pupu- his little pototoy has poop!

Sam's monster face is also his pa-pogi face 

Sam during a haircut session at Cuts for Tots. He's oblivious of the cutter because Barney is on TV

At night, he loves being put to sleep with the I Love you Barney song. Mind you, you can't just hum the song because he will say 'Barney, Barney' which means sing it with the lyrics please.
He also loves the If You're happy and You know It song and when is comes to the shout hooray! part he will attempt to jump higher than two inches off the ground. He also loves the Elephant song in Barney, he would stomp his feet just like an elephant. Friends and neighbors are always telling me how sweet and charming Sam is. Well, compared to Sophie, he's more the people person. Always saying 'hi' and 'bye' to people he meets, even strangers. He's particularly fond of boys older than he is. He loves to hug and talk to them even if he just met them, which sometimes other kids find weird.
Sophie is a different personality, she's more aloof with strangers. She's quite feisty for her age, some say it's an advantage because she's a girl but sometimes I just worry especially when she starts to go to school. I may end up as a regular of the principal's office :( She's nice and sweet to his brother, though, on most times.
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