Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My First Blogapalooza Experience

I have a confession to make. My blog has been in existence for what… 4 years now and really I haven’t done anything bring up the ante apart from saying yes to more event invites this year. I guess I’m just lazy, er, busy that way.

However, when I got an email about Blogapalooza this year, I signed up. Inside me, there’s a voice that tells me I need to do something more about this sleepy blog. I just need to find the time to do that.

Event itself, after almost two hours of traffic, husby and I finally got to much talked about SM Aura. I have to give credit to husby who's sweet enough to drive me around even if I know how :) He even let me buy the christmas tree I always wanted in SM Aura :)

Upon entering SMX convention, I got a load of what’s hip and happening with the brands that collaborated with organizers When in Manila and Our Awesome Planet. Kudos to these amazing guys. They even passed around pink piggy banks for the Yolanda victims that day and raised around P82K. Yay!

The attendees went home smiling with all the new connections for collaborations and projects and tons of prizes and giveaways. I surely did :)

The setup for the presentation of products

Tempura, one of my fave restos in town, happily served their fare of yummy dishes for the bloggers

She's so cute I can't help a photo op

Chef's Noodle. I looked closely at how they made the makis. I always wanted to learn Japanese cusine

 Figaro didn't miss the fun and offered their new treats in time for the holidays

The line up of booths - Mind Museum, Enjoy, BYS, Plato Wraps, Grab Taxi, View Park Hotel, NY Theraspine, Chooks to Go and more!

Hope to be there in the next Blogapalooza.
OOTD: bustier dress, Damit, Sisidlan, atbp (look her up in FB and Instagram); cardigan from sister; shoes: Michael Kors; bag: Linea Italia in Glorietta. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Marriage: Car Talks and Kaltok Moments

My breakfast last week but I'm not here to give you a rundown of reviews and comments about the too sweet coffee or the sinfully good croughnut (or did I just give you my review?).

But this post is meant to share something else - marriage and, as they say, beyond.

I'm in similar settings on some days the past weeks, killing time with breakfast and coffee. One time, I decided to try a new location being 2 hours early for work, the newly opened coffee shop across the office. The scenes and smell of our cafeteria in the mornings just got a bit tiring.

I'm usually early for work but for several days I'm SUPER early because of Stephen's erratic work schedule.

As much as I'd rather catch more zzzzs in the morning and tell husby to go ahead without me, I know that goin to work together in our car will definitely save me cab money. Plus he is paranoid about taxi scams nowadays and insists we just take the car together.

More than saving money, car rides with husby to and fro work has become our exclusive couple time. The 'car talks' are as random, funny, honest and unadulterated as it can get *wink* wink*. No qualms because we know it's only us who can hear the conversation so we swear, we debate, we rant, we do dirty talk *wink again*  and we make random chismis. Haha!

Sometimes Stephen gets confused where one story ends and the other starts, I appreciate that he is really a good listener and keeps up with me during those 'confusing' times. It's a rare trait for a guy, do you agree? If you have been reading my blog for years now, I believe you have this rare trait as well so thank you for visiting back :)

I honestly love our 'car talks' and I hope we can enjoy that for years to come. Of course, we always entertain car poolers when needed. We will behave when you're riding with us don't worry :)

We have a rule between us too of no sleeping in the car because you have to entertain whoever is driving (and it's usually Stephen). Even if it's a 30-minute or a 6-hour drive, the rule is absolute.

Oh and here's another unspoken rule: I have to pretend to be genuinely interested in basketball-related yadada and say 'Stephen supplied' comments like 'Oh really?' or 'talaga?' with much gusto.

At this point, with almost 8 years of marriage, I can tell you that communication and humor are two important factors to keep a relationship together. There is never an excuse not to make constant talks and discuss matters, even how serious or trivial, with your husband.

And humor. Well, I think it's one thing that we can laugh together with our partner, at each other and at ourselves everyday. As one Tacloban victim said when asked by a CNN reporter why they are happy, 'Laughter is the best medicine.'

If you want to have a doze of our funny moments that we fondly call our Kaltok moments, visit my Stephen's blog here. It's not updated anymore but that's basically how our everyday life is, nag-iiba iba lang ang kaltoker and kaltokee. hehe.

Here's a more recent kaltok moment:

We attended a children's birthday party yesterday and after the party, friends decided to continue to get together in another venue. With the kids in tow, of course. One friend, his wife and son rode with us in the car on the way to Starbucks.

Friend: (to Stephen) Yung kaibigan natin, wala pa baby. Sabi nga niya pagbalik niya from abroad, wala na daw labasan ng kwarto (alam niyo na yan).

Friend's son: Huh?! Bakit hindi lalabas ng kwarto Tatay? Paano yun, paano siya kakain, baka mamatay siya dun?

The adults in the car laughed silently, the kid was seriously worried.

Me: Sige, daddy, magpaliwanag ka ngayon. Explain in writing!

Everyone (err just the adults) laughed while our friend tried to string words to explain 'walang labasan sa kwarto' to his son. Guess who got one big kaltok.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Typhoon Yolanda: Ways to Reach Out

For those who have been messaging me on how they can help, here are options I gathered in the internet on how we can extend our help to our kababayans in need.
The devastation brings tears to my eyes. The videos, the interviews, the call for help is just too overwhelming. I have cousins in Ormoc City and until now communication is intermittent :(
Let us pray for the survivors (we all need a lot of that these days) and let us help anyway we can.

1. Through GMA Network: 


2. Through Red Cross: 
You can also go to this link to place your donations through Red Cross:

I tried sending donations through text and followed the instructions below. It's a quick way to help and they will send an acknowledgement.

SMS and G-Cash

Text REDAMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) or 4143 (Smart)
You can donate the following denominations:
Globe: 5, 25, 100, 300, 500 or 1000
Smart: 10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 or 1000

3. Drop off points for donations:

If you have clothes, food, medicine and other necessities that you would like to donate, check out the drop off areas accessible to you apart from broadcast stations in Metro Manila:
1. Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
- DSWD-National Resource Operations Center (NROC) Chapel Road, Pasay City (going to NAIA2). Contact number: (02) 851-2681

2. Philippine National Police
- PNP Gymnasium, Camp Crame, Quezon City. Contact numbers: 0915-333-8685, (02) 722-0650 (Police Senior Superintendent Teroy Taguinod)

3. Operation Tulong Bayan
- Balai, EDSA corner McArthur Ave., Cubao, Quezon City. Contact number: 02-913-6254; or
- The Commissary at Whitespace, 2341 Chino Roces Ave Ext. (formerly Pasong Tamo Ext), Makati City. Contact number: (02) 729-0030

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Recipe Share: Asian Pork Belly

Here's another recipe share for y'all. Something I put together one day when I ran out of ingredients and left with only pork belly in the freezer. 

I call this recipe Asian pork belly. 

Basically just mix in a pan of water 
1 tsp. sesame oil
1-2 tbsps. sugar (depends on how sweet you want it to be) 
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
coarsely chopped garlic and onions
a little salt and a generous amount of whole peppers. 

You can also add bay leaves and/or drops of lemon for more flavor. 

Just put your pork belly (1/2- 3/4 k. for the measurement above) in the water with the spices and sauces and boil until soft and tender. 

Garnish with fresh basil leaves (because that's what I can find in the garden at that time but it works). 

My family especially my husband enjoys this dish saying it tastes like his aunt's(+) cooking minus the wine added to cooking. That's a super compliment knowing his aunt was the best cook in their family. Awww! Husby really knows the right words to say :)

Enjoy easy cooking! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Let's Bake Easy

Are you in a baking rut but kids are nudging you to make cookies or cakes? Do you feel intimated by baking ingredients and jargons you read in those cook books but wanted so much to make your own brownies or cupcakes?

Why not take it one step at a time. These tips and easy-to-find mixes will help you through your baking experience. This is how I started as well when I tried baking for the first time and it's what I recommend to friends who are first-time bakers and wants to create their own confections. 

Pancake mix
We make the traditional pancake with this mix. 

If you want a muffin, you can add sweet corn (canned in water) or cheese in your pancake batter (see package instructions for the batter). Line the cupcake pan with liners and fill cupcake liners with batter, pop in the over (oven toaster will do) and ta-da! You got corn or cheese muffins for the family. 

For the muffin, I used softened butter instead of oil.

More tip: when filling the cupcake liner with batter, make sure to fill only ¾ of the cup. The batter will rise a few minutes after you popped the muffin in the oven and the ¼ allowance from the rim is meant for this.
Everything is store-bought, canned corn, cheese, pancake mix. We love Maya or Queens brands. 

Sharon’s Choco Crinkles.
Easy to follow steps, you just need to have confectioner sugar available as this does not come with the box. 

We used an oven toaster for this recipe and the first one. Aside from baking based on instructions on the box, make sure to check and turn your goodies every now and then so they bake evenly on all sides. I do this even if I use my conventional oven. 

My happy bakers

And just like that, the kids prepared the table for our choco crinkle party!

Maya Fudge Brownie Mix

I have said it before, we're a big Maya products fan. This store-bought mix is my quick go-to when the kids have this urge to bake. Last weekend, we baked again and tweaked the ingredients a little because the little girl saw this recipe while watching Food Network (she said she wants to be a chef when she grows up) :) Instead of adding ½ cup butter, we put in ¼ c. butter and ¼ cup mayo. Once chocolate mixture is well blended, we folded in mallows and chopped cherries and it turned out gooey than fudgy. Just the way we likey J

 Any easy baking tip you want to share? Have a wacky Wednesday :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Because We are Made Equal

One the weekend, while buying my weekly supply of seafood from our 'suki' in the wet market, a little boy came to me and said something in a very faint voice. I had to ask him again what it was he said because I could hardly hear him and a bit surprised that he just popped out of nowhere.

The little boy repeated, 'Ate, pabukas (please open)' as he handed to me very shyly a small pouch of candy. He likes me to open his candy for him.

When the adults around heard this, they quickly reprimanded the child saying it's not proper to ask favor from a costumer. I was quick to interpfere and said it's okay. Before I opened the wrapper I asked the adults 'Is it okay for him to eat candy?' (I usually do not let my kids eat candy that early in the morning). They said yes and I proceeded with helping the boy. He gave me a sheepish smile and ran to his mom who was the one cleaning the fishes I bought.

The adults were still giving the kid a piece of their mind so I repeated 'Okay lang talaga.' Then Aling Lina the stall owner said, 'Yung iba po kasi suplada talaga (Some costumers are really haughty and snob). They don't like to be approached like that.'

I kept quiet but deep inside me I was bothered.

Does a kid deserve a harsh treatment from another individual, even a stranger? They're only children. By any means, these haughty people poop gold or diamond in the morning? Unfair di ba? The kid was just being sweet and pa-cute, anyway :)

In yesterday's mass, the officiating priest said something about All Soul's Day and the Pinoys' tradition of visiting their dearly departed. He said something like why be proud, greedy and selfish when we all end up RIP naman? Good point Father.

It's just about 50 days before Christmas. Spread the love! :)

Halloween 2013: School Parties and More

Finally, Halloween is over. Whew! I swear trick or treating has become as 'career' as Christmas. But I guess 'careering' depends on how stage supportive mom you can be hehe.

And being the supportive mom, I attended the kids' Halloween parties in their respective schools a few weeks ago. Who would've thought, my K1 and my 1st grader celebrated Halloween. As I posted on my FB status: 2 kids, 2 different schools, 1 mom. Lagarista lang ang peg! I felt like a ping pong ball running from one school to the other. I think I lost thousands of calories that day.

It was all worth it, though. For one, my little octopus won the 'ultimate' award Mr. Animal Planet. Yip yip hooray! We actually changed him in a more comfy outfit here because he wasn't called in the best in costume category. Yun pala he got the special award :) When the teachers were congratulating us, I somehow sensed they knew I actually sewed the costume. I think yaya spilled the beans.

Then my pretty little witch enjoyed games and prizes from the game booth setup in school. Although 1st graders had to be accompanied by adults for the rides and games I thought then 'these are activities are for big kids na. My little girl is not so young anymore' *sigh*
One of her classmates came with us for the games and rides as she was without a parent/guardian. Kawawa naman to be left alone in the classroom so I brought her along for the games. You should see how the little girl's face lit up and I imagined Sophia if I didn't attend this activity. I missed some of her school activities this year but I promised to make up.

Can you see how tall she is now? She is old enough to know what's real and knows how to interpret matters with maturity beyond her years.

my two halloween-ers. Sulit na sulit ang costumes na 'to. They wore it to two more parties. 

Back at home, we did some quick but crafty decors for the trick or treat party. The kids helped, of course.

More candies. Uh-oh.

And look who visited us at work naman for their share of the fun (and candies)?

The Queen of hearts (career di ba?)

with her soldier cards (sabi na career eh) and other characters thats scared the kids who came to the party haha!

Hope you had a fun and safe holiday everyone! Happy Monday :)

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