Monday, January 30, 2012

Recipe Share: Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is one recipe to share, the story on why it's making online rounds for almost a decade now be true or not. For those who are not familiar with the story behind Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip cookies, read here:

I'm one of those curious kitty that just had to try the recipe and taste it for myself. I got this email several years back but got to try this only last week with the new oven. I tweaked the recipe a little, replaced Hershey's with coarsely chopped M&Ms and used Meiji black (coarsely chopped again, I just love texture in cookies) for the chocolate chips.

can you see the M&Ms peeking? 

NEIMAN-MARCUS COOKIES (Recipe may be halved) 
2 cups butter
24 oz. Chocolate chips
4 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. Soda
1 tsp. Salt
2 cups sugar
1 - 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated)
5 cups blended oatmeal
4 eggs
2 tsp.. Baking powder
2 tsp. Vanilla
3 c ups chopped nuts (your choice)

Measure oatmeal, and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the
butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mix together with
flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips ,
Hershey bar, and nuts. Roll into balls, and place two inches apart on
a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees...

Makes 112 cookies

This recipe really yields a LOT! I halved the recipe and still made around 5 1/2 dozens. I would have made more if we (with my assistant named Sophia) made smaller balls. The secret really is to use fine oatmeal, premium chocolates and bake the cookies for only 10 minutes or less, depends on how your oven works. Me, by 7 or 8 minutes I turn off the oven and let it sit in the oven for a minute before taking it out. Once cooled, the cookies will have soft centers but we love to eat it while they're warm, so chewy and chocolate still melted. This is a must try recipe!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sophie's 5th Birthday Part1

mommy moments

On January 16, my little princess celebrated her birthday in school with her teachers and classmates. Hubby and I took a day off from work and personally took care of the party.

When we got in the classroom, Sophie's teacher announced that the kinder class prepared a simple presentation for us. They did an interpretative song number. How sweet di ba? :)

And now it's game time!
First game for the kids was Decorate Your Cupcake! Kids super loved this game :)
that's me preparing the props for the game while the kids wash their hands in the classroom sink
The day before the party, I made a dozen chocolate cupcakes for the game. By the time it got out of the oven, Sam got two while Sophie ate one, hubby got I don’t how many. To make the story short, I had to make another dozen of cupcakes. I used the recipe for S’mores cupcake (minus the icing) and in fairness it’s good, very moist and not too sweet. I'll share the recipe some other time.
The morning of the party, I made the frosting, divided into three parts and made yellow, pink and white frostings. I also bought coated chocolates, sprinkles, mallows for the topping and brought stocks of party toothpicks I got from a Gourdo’s sale. 

Here are the cupcakes the kids made. How creative :)

Next off, our version of pin the donkey. In keeping with the Barbie theme, we did pin a bow on Barbie’s hair. So kikay and fun :)

Last, it's trip to Jerusalem which I found out was the class’ fave game and Sophie is actually good at it. I thought she’s gonna win pa because she made it to final 3 J

Then it's time for the official happy birthday song and blowing of the candles! Everyone was mesmerized by Barbie cake and may I say that it's yummy too. Highly recommended :)

After announcing the best decorated cupcake (with the celebrant as judge), it's time for the most awaited part: Eating time!
Jollibee never fails to make even the pickiest eater enjoy this food. There was enough to share with the kids, teachers and staff. Even the parents and nannies in the waiting area got their share.
On a not so good side and I just have to share this, Jollibee's online delivery almost gave me a heart attack! Advance order is not allowed so we had to order on the morning of the party. Unfortunaately, our account won't load properly and after gazillion reloads and restarts we had to resort to phone delivery. Because of this I wasn't able to join the online promo and, me being me, just had to give a piece of my mind to their management.

After meal, Sophie gave away her token to her classmates, those character string bags with goodies inside.
Even little bro got one and ain't he just happy about it :0

Everything went well and I'm glad the kids had fun and Sophie was the happiest kid ever :) Thank you to Teacher Cath and Teacher Jo for helping us during the program.

Happy birthday Sophia! We love you :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What To Expect From A Five Year Old

What it’s like to have a 5-year old girl at home?
For one, don’t go sleeping with your hands dangling and at your kikay girl’s disposal. See what I mean?

I guess I got her exposed to manicures and foot spas too early in life. Oh well, just a little more practice and she can do this as a side line hehe.

All other things to watch out for in a 5-year old:
1. She does not like to be called our baby girl anymore, just pretty girl;
2. She now chooses what she wants to wear, how her hair should be done, what bag to bring and what accessories to wear. Downside of that is… she chooses my stuff! So were always fighting over my bag, my trinkets, my makeup! She likes adult stuff now and at five years old, mind you. I can just imagine how it’s gonna be when she turns pre-teens;
3. She knows how read, write and spell so gone are the days when husband and I spell out words we don’t want her to know like ‘Let’s have i-c-e-c-r-e-a-m’ or ‘Daddy, you just said s-h-i-t! It doesn’t work anymore so we have to think of another tactic. Any suggestion?
4. She’s more confident and has greater control of her fine and gross motor skills. She can prepare her own pancake, scrambled egss and sandwhich. She now prefers to take a bath all by herself, tie her shoe lace, etc. She’s more confident in so many other things and (insists on) asserting herself. How time flies…
5. She can ride her bike with one less training wheel (the other one tore off from overuse). She can balance even if her bike doesn’t have a training wheel so I think a few more practice and she can ride a bike without the training wheels.
6. She knows the day of the week and super excited when Saturday comes because that’s when Mom and Dad stay home.
7. My fave part – she has finally found her true love, the arts. Almost everyday she has a piece of artwork for her dad and I or for her teacher. Like a day before her birthday, she made me a paper heart filled with raindow colors. As she handed it to me she said, ‘thank you Mommy for my birthday party.’ I was teary-eyed as I said thank you. Isn’t that the sweetest?

My daughter is all grown up now. As I watch her do big girl stuff, I get all nostalgic and look back into the days when all she did was breastfeed and sleep, breastfeed and sleep. Now, she doesn't even want a meme (lullaby) at night.

Little girl, don't grow up so fast please?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Prepping for Sophie's 5th Birthday

mommy moments

Our Sophie is turning a year old on Monday, January 16, and is super excited to celebrate her birthday with her new friends in school. That got me a little worried.

After we checked out from the hospital, I realized I haven’t done much for my daughter’s school party. Aside from calling the cake supplier and making a to-do list while we were in the hospital (I have two kids so I have to multi-task galore!) I haven’t accomplished much for my daughter’s celebration. I’m a little worried because work-wise, we are launching four, not one not two, but FOUR new programs for our primetime block. So I’m so swamped with soooo many things!

Haay, kaya ko ‘to.

So, to start off, last Saturday husband and I met with a cake supplier I found from to finalize Sophie’s cake design. I’m so excited about the cake plus the supplier also makes cupcakes for several network parties so I hope she’s really good. This is the peg for Sophie’s cake c/o Deniel's Arts and Crafts. Yep, the little girl wants a Barbie Princess party.

Then last Sunday, I went to a local mall where there are a number of bazaars and bought stuff for the loot bags. Cute right? The string bags are only P20 each.

This week, I would go to Trinoma to buy paunti-unti banners, party prizes, stuff for the games and giveaways, etc. I tell you, I love organizing parties and events but I never realized a simple school party can entail so much work. Well, there's always a first time for everything. 

After a few calls and texts with the school teachers, I got a confirmed slot to hold Sophie’s party.
Our neighbor, who supplies party needs will make the balloons with the Barbie theme.

The celebrant herself made the thank you cards and decorated it. I just asked her to write Thank you and put her name on a dozen blank papers for a personal touch then I'll do the decoration. But the enthusiastic girl got her colored pens and stamps and decorated each paper. Thanks sweetie, that's one less work for mom :)

Finally, the food. Sinong bata ang ayaw ng Jollibee? So we’re ordering the food online for the kids and school staff. Jollibee and BDO credit card has a promo going on right now for online delivery, it's time to put my new plastic money to good use. Then, we're buying ice cream cups from the grocery. I find ice cream cups less messy especially since the party will be inside the classroom. I bought colorful napkins, utensils and cups so we don't have to serve the food with boring white utensils. 

Here's to hoping the party will go well and kids will have a grand time. Tomorrow, we're off to Ocean Adventure in Subic for a pre-birthday celebration and the kids are so excited! They just love Subic :)

Happy birthday our dear Sophia, our wise angel of God. We love you very much! :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

When Seizure Happens

The scariest moment of my life happened on that night of January 4.

At around 1230am, barely two hours after I dozed off to sleep, I heard a loud cry from my little boy. We still co-sleep with our children and when I sense my kids suddenly wake up in the middle of the night I just let them hear my voice, touch their backs and they go back to sleep.

When I heard Sam cried, I immediately comforted him but before I could finish ‘Mommy’s here Sam’ I was surprised that he already stopped crying. That puzzled me because he would usually turn to me and hug me until he’s asleep again so I got into a sitting position and checked if he really dozed off. I was surprised that his eyes were somehow looking up and he didn’t turn to me. All these were happening in the dark but my mother’s instinct knew that something’s amiss.I waited for a second or two if he would just close his eyes but they remained staring at the wall on his head.

And then everything was chaos.

I immediately woke my husband up and when he opened the lights, there lay my son. His body has stiffened - arms up in an L position, fists closed tight, his eyes were dilirious. He was having a seizure! In the first few seconds, I saw that he was still trying to move his mouth maybe trying to speak or trying to fight it off but his body was too rigid.

It was a totally out of body experience for husband and I. Everything was a blur but I knew that I had to keep my wits and my calm. My husband was in some sort of panic and he was holding on to our dear son and told me to wake up the helper and pack the bags. As I was grabbing things to bring to the hospital, Sam’s body suddenly went limp and I rushed to him again while my husband tried to wake him up. This moment I was silently praying for a miracle from God, to please make him wake up. Barely 10 seconds after, my little boy suddenly made a loud restrained cry. He was having chills but thank goodness he’s awake. I resumed to packing our bags, made sure all his health cards, milk and extra clothings were there.

In the ER, the doctor immediately attended to him and said that he registered a 38 C fever. We were directed to one of the ER’s bed, answered some questions like if there may be head injury prior to the seizure, how long the seizure lasted, any case of vomiting, if my son turned blue,etc. In some cases, kids with seizure lose air and turn blue. Scary right? After the Q &A the attending physician called Sam’s doctor and got orders to confine our little boy and conduct some tests. We had to stay overnight for monitoring as seizure may recur within 24-48 hrs after the first attack. He was put on IV therapy and was brought to our room. His only medication is a round-the-clock Paracetamol administered by the nurses for 24 hours and nasal spray.

That night as I layed on the hospital bed with Sam, I realized… that was the most traumatic experience of my life! I stayed up for hours just watched my little boy sleep and prayed that there will be no more second attack. Please, I don't think I can bear that sight anymore. Like a broken record, the haunting scene kept playing back in my head. As I write this, a week after the incident, I still wake up in the middle of the night and check on Sam. Touch him if he’s even slightly hot or if he’s breathing properly. 

That morning, urine test and CBC test results came out clean so the doctor said the fever and seizure are caused by viral infection. Meningitis was ruled out also as my son manifested normal active behavior even after the attack. I found out also that febrile seizure may likely to happen to a child who has a family background of 

What happened to Sam is a case of febrile seizure which is common to children from 6 months to 5 years old. Apparently, children his age may experience this attack even if the fever isn't really high. To know more about febrile seizure, I'm sharing these sites to you: ; ; These sites helped me during those questioning time. 

To all our friends and families who prayed and wished our little boy well, thank you very much. It was very comforting to know so many people love and care for him. He is back to his old witty makulit self. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

2012 Fashion Report

Every year, my friends and I share our 2012 fashion report. This has been a yearly thing for almost a decade now and this year I decided to share with you my blog friends what I have gathered from the web.

The colors of Spring
Do take note and check your wardrobe if there are outfits that need to take a back seat for a while. 

The trendy outfits
 Donna Karan Collection Fashion Spring 2012
Donna Karan 2012 collection is tribal inspired
 Can I just say, I love the cold shoulder styles, it's subtly seductive!
Alexander McQueen 2012 spring collection
Guess by Marciano 2012 spring collection
HM Spring Summer Collection 2012 H&M Collection 2012
H&M 2012 Summer Collection is all about candy colors
The bags. 
I usually don't take much of the fabric used for bag spring collections because they just stay until there, summer and spring. I take note of the colors and style, though, because they can stay until pre-fall in a different fabric. 
D&G 2012 handbag collection

The Shoes!
I love these shoes. Don't you? Sorry not much flats featured here as I'm not a fan hehe :)
LV metallic toes 2012 collection
Oscar dela Renta lace collection for 2012

The Christian Louboutin collection. Pointed toes are showing up again but they say boots are gonna stay rounded.

Let's finish this entry with what's in on makeup this year. More colors, of course!
Best Makeup 2012 Best Makeup 2012  new makeup 2012 Best Makeup 2012  new makeup trends 2012 Best Makeup 2012
Don't you just love the colors of fashion this year? They're vibrant, bold and very inspiring. Just make sure you don't overdo, try to incorporate just a little bit of something new with something classic or else you'll end up as a fashion victim.LOL!

Have a fashionable 2012 everyone!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My Baguio Trip Essentials

Lemme share what made me survive a very chilly weather, 2 kids and constant moving around during our Baguio trip. My new must haves as of the moment:

1.) Mulberry replica bag. The bag is my very first online purchase. Yep, I'm a virgin of online shopping. 
I ordered the bag last month from Multiply and since it's a pre-order item and came from Korea, it took a couple of weeks before it reached me. Good thing it arrived in time for our family vacay. I must say that it's very versatile, very roomy. Although the leather is not much to my liking (it's synthetic, something I wouldn't buy if I saw it in a store), I couldn't complain much because I made the purchase online. The body is made of gamusa material with color a cross between red and brown. 
photo taken with my nephew at Bell Mansion in John Hay
2) Stormtech Hooded Thermal jacket. This jacket got me through a rainy and chilly tour of the Christmas village,  a morning jog and walk around Session Rd. It's very versatile, waterproof, light and has lots of pockets that can even hold my chunky wallet and 2 cellphones if I prefer not to use my bag. I love it!

3) Clinique Dramatically Different moisturizer. I've listed this product under my Favorite things but I never really realized the benefit of a moisturizer until this Baguio trip. I put it in the morning before I go out, at night before bedtime and anytime in between as skin can really get dry from the cool wind.

So there, my 3 essentials. Of course, there are other 'essentials' I brought but for the 2011 trip I was able to manage my suitcase more. In 2010, I brought so much shoes, clothes, makeup,etc. that our car was mostly filled with my stuff. LOL!
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