Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Family Summer Activities and Goals

So it's summer time. Whew! So thankful for the ubiquitous S word. We survived exam weeks. Yay!

That's a week of review for my little Sam and 2 1/2 weeks for our Ate Sophie. Yep, it was that time of the year to be reunited with fractions, phases of the moon, etc. and dozens of written exercises we had to make for the kids. 

I met one teacher/speaker in a K12 seminar I attended and when she found out I have one child in progressive and one in traditional school, she asked: 'How do you manage teaching both?' (we don't hire tutor). I don't know how to answer. We (husband and I) just try to manage, I guess. I try to switch teaching technique based more on the kid’s personality than their school setting. One child embraces sit down tutoring while the with the other it has to be very casual. For both kids, though, I always stay in their zone of interest whenever I need to make an example - dinosaurs, meteor showers, all about the earth for our little boy while it's about all the kikay and princess stuff for our little Ate. 

Anyway, summer is up but that doesn't mean mommies get to rest, noh? This year, we decided to hold off the summer classes and want our little kiddos to enjoy the 2-month break.

That doesn't mean, though, that they'll be lounging on the sofa for hours and watching TV or playing on the tablet. No can do so I made a schedule of activities and explained both to the kids and to the helpers on how to manage the activities.

8:00 am - breakfast time
9:00 am - outside play
10:00 am - art time/ library or reading time
12:00 nn - lunch
1:00 pm -  rest/nap time/ TV off
4:00 pm - snack
4:30 pm - outside play or art time with friends
5:30 pm - wash up and get ready for dinner.
7:00 pm - TV time

They usually wait up until 830pm for mommy and daddy to arrive from work. That's when we get our family bonding time. We asked them how their day went and what art project they did. Last night we played 'concert stage' after dinner :)

To the helpers only, I tell them that the schedules does not have to be followed to the letter (I don't want to put pressure on the kids, it's summer after all) but it will guide them on the activities for the day. Like this morning, Sam wanted to do art time already at 8:30 am. His OC Ate reminded him that art time is at 10 am pa. I just love these kids! :) And surprisingly, they really nap after lunch which they don't do anymore with their age.

Now I'm thinking how to tweak the activities so it won't get boring. Maybe dance performance next week?

Art time is basically free hand art projects. They can use whatever medium them want - crayons, watercolor, oil pastel, etc. They learned new technique in shading during their recent art class in Global Art in Salcedo Village. Their Mama Joy ( my sister) gave them this gift for Christmas. This is a good time to enhance this skill.

Of course, the big ones has their activities as well. Husby and I have been working on a healthier body since last month. Mornings are better now that we don't have to rush the kids to school (even with 2 helpers, we're still very hands on) and that only means we have time for workout. Yay!

We've also been 'eating clean' the past months with more salad and fruits, less rice or carbs and fatty food. I, for one, ordered a weekly healthy diet meal from a colleague at work.

This is a sample of my lunch - grilled salmon with mango and kiwi served with brown rice. Tastes so good at healthy pa. Plus the meal plan includes calories per meal, so if you're big on calorie counting like me, this makes it convenient.

Only P140 per meal but if you order lunch and dinner each meal is on P120/meal. Another thing I love about this meal plan is that it's so much more cheaper than my lunch before which can amount to P200 to P300 per dine out. They deliver within the Metro.

In my post here, I shared our Biggest Loser game at work. We already awarded the biggest loser last December and mind you, I won third place. Haha! The contender with least pounds to lose and the oldest among the contender won third place pa. I can't believe it either.

Now, I'm just more focused on toning the muscles especially the core since I already lost more than 10 lbs. The goal really is not to be paper thin but as toned and healthy as any 38-year old can achieve. Yep, that's how old I am since last week.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

AyosNaSummer Giveaway: Win Summer Siren Tickets!

Guys, here's the best thing that can happen to your summ-ah! What's the best way to work on that tan and parteee but to be in the hippest gig ever! I'm so looking forward to the sand, sea and fun activities and they're just around the corner. 
So what are you waiting for? Wish away, hop on to and share your wish for that chance to win! Good luck to us all :)

Be part of the hottest 3-day beach party for FREE when you share your #AyosNaSummer wish with your barkada! Simply Surf & Share on to win FREE Summer Siren tickets for you and your friends!

A total of 35 Summer Siren passes and 10 limited edition AyosLoudbasstard speaker docks will be given away to lucky Ka-Ayos who will share their #AyosNaSummer wish on Join to get the chance to meet great people at the Summer Siren Festival happening on April 4-6 at Crystal Beach, Zambales! It’s very easy to join and win the ultimate beach adventure for your barkada. Tara na!

To join:
1.       Search #AyosNaSummer on then click the Win Summer Siren Tickets ad.
2.       Reply to the ad with your #AyosNaSummer wish. The more replies you leave, the more chances of winning exclusive Summer Siren tickets for you and your friends.

Are you diggin' these cool bands and DJs? Me too!

The prizes:
Total of 15 tickets and 3 room accommodations to be won! (5 Super Ayos winners will win 3 tickets and 1 room accommodation each)
Total of 20 tickets up for grabs! (5 AyosBarkada winners of 4 tickets each)
Exclusive consolation prizes for music lovers up for grabs. (10 winners of Loudbasstard speaker docks)

Winners will be selected at random. The more #AyosNaSummer wish you send, the higher your chances of winning. Each ticket is valid for entry to the Summer Siren event at Crystal Beach, Zambales this coming April 4 to 6, 2014. For more info, go to

Monday, March 17, 2014

Recipe Share: Roast Pork Pastries

I have to confess, I’m a sucker for recipe out of a box. Literally, that is, recipes printed on a box (or can) of whatever we bought at the store – flour, cornstarch, milk, etc.

Why not?

Over the years since I started cooking and baking, these recipes were proven easy to follow and really delicious. I found my best Thai lumpia recipe from a free booklet I got when I bought an oyster sauce. My embutido and lumpiang shanghai was from a can of tomato sauce.

A few weeks ago, I chanced upon a recipe from a box of cornstarch (Golden Harvest) I bought to make homemade dough for the kids. It’s a pastry dough recipe with only 3 to 4 ingredients tops – flour, water, shortening and egg. You can fill it up with whatever you like. I divided the dough in batches for hotdog, pork belly and cheese fillings. 

Roast Pork Pastry: 

Water Shortening Dough
300g. (2/3 lbs.) Flour
150g. (1/3 lbs) water
75g. (3 2/3 oz.) lard or shortening

Flaky Dough
225g. (1/2 lb) flour
112g. (1/4 lb) Lard or shortening

the flaky dough, a little more yellow than the water shortening dough
  1. Mix and knead the 2 doughs separately. Divide each into 25 equally sized portions. Wrap one portion of flaky dough inside each piece of water shortening dough.

2. Roll out each piece of dough until thin and fold into thirds. Repeat this process 2 more times. Roll thin.

I didn’t follow the recipe on the box of Golden Harvest cornstarch. I instead used my own pork belly recipe.

Pulled Pork Belly:
500 g. pork belly
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
¼ cup cooked green peas (optional)
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 ½ tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. fish sauce
2 bay leaves, crushed
whole peppercorns
pinch of salt
½ cup water
zest of lemon or calamansi (optional)
chopped basil or coriander

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a pot except for potatoes, peas and chopped basil/coriander. Place the pork belly in the middle of the pot and slow cook until tender and meat starts to fall apart. You may need to add more water in the middle of cooking if the liquid starts to dry.
  2. Add the vegetables – add potatoes once pork is halfway done and green peas a minute before you turn off the fire.
  3. Once cooked, transfer on a plate, add chopped basil and let cool. Shred the pork into strips with fork once it’s cool enough.
  4. Wrap some filling in each piece of dough and lightly flatten. Brush some lightly beaten egg yolk on the top of each pastry.
  5. Bake at 200 degrees C (390 degrees F) or until golden brown.
In the oven they go. I placed them in a muffin pan because I'm not sure if they'll hold together since it was my first time to try this recipe. Thankfully, they did :)
The finish product. I honestly didn't expect what would come out of a pastry recipe without egg and all the other ingredients I normally use. Now I know - pastry with a little crunch; texture somewhere in between a hopia and an empanada. 

I'm definitely doing this recipe again, probably put more filling as I now know that the elasticity of the dough can hold the filling in place. Plus the kids had fun doing their own pastry dough. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Schooling: Field Trip 2014

My little princess and I went off two weeks ago to join the school’s field trip. Seriously, I’m starting to become an expert on field trips. There’s even one itinerary that we visited for 2 consecutive years already (for different schools).

If there’s one thing I realized too from these activities is that we will never be the early bird. Call time was just too early for this poor soul plus I stress over things to bring in the morning even if I already stressed over them the night before. I just needed to make sure I have everything for the trip – pocket money, credit cards, health cards, baby book, insect repellent, barf bags just in case, meds, sunblock, first aid kit and all other 'just in case' stuff. Of course, lots of snacks and water for the trip. Like we will go to far off place where there's no source for any of these which is, of course, not the case. 

Here’s sharing our itinerary during Sophie’s field trip. 

I only learned about this place when I received the letter about the field trip. Honestly, the place is quite nice and seem to have everything in one roof. Nice for family day tour, not too far from the city. 

The students got to milk the cow. Visitors with cough or cold were not allowed to come near the cows as the management is careful not to get the cows sick. Sophie was starting to have a cold that day so I didn't let her join. 

Zipline and Wall Climbing which my daughter both tried for the first time (with a little coaxing from Mom). She was scared to try at first but after her first try, she wanted to go on and on. ‘It was so much fun Mommy. Again, again!’, she squealed after her first try. 

The farm also sells frozen fresh cow’s milk and other milk products in different flavors. We took home the chocolate flavored cow's milk and my kids chugged the whole liter the following day.
Visit the farm's FB page if more info. 

We also visited Creamline factory but unfortunately they have no ice cream production that day so there’s nothing to see. They gave each one an ice cream drumstick, though. We’ve been here last year so it didn't bother my little girl the she wasn't able to see ice cream making but I totally get the parents’ grunts and complains. This trip was paid anyway.

Dino Island
Last and being the highlight of the trip (although my daughter wants to stay at San Gregorio Farm for the rest of the day).

We saw animatronics of dinosaurs and visited a mini dino fossil museum. It was a good trip but a little dusty and hot because we got there after lunch and the place was packed with visitors from different schools.  

Click the link to see the dinosaurs in motion. This is a hit with the kids. 

entrance to the park 
my little photographer

I took videos of some of the dinosaurs and showed it to Sam when we got home from Ate's field trip. He couldn't wait to go there as he's so into dinosaurs, meteor showers and the whole Big Bang phenomenon right now. So now you know where we'll be on his birthday :)

Visit: for more info.

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