Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Yakapin: Batang Hilagang Mindanao (YBHM)

This is a repost from YBHM Facebook Page, written by Ms. Cathy Babao-Guballa.

“Put yourself in her shoes.
“You fall asleep snug in the arms of your mother; the rain pounds on the room but you are not afraid because beside you is your mother, and you know you will be safe. All of a sudden, the waters enter your home and you are swept away from all that is familiar, and everyone you love.
“You wake up dazed, not knowing what has happened to your family. You walk around aimlessly, only to find that your home and all that you love are gone….
“Toys are effective tools in helping children heal from the trauma of loss.Stuffed toys are effective comfort givers in times of stress and trauma. To children,  stuffed animals are more than toys; they become the vehicles by which they tell their stories and release their pain. Stuffed toys or teddy bears provide some comfort in a scary world.
“Please send clean, friendly-looking toys in good condition (no pigs please, owing to cultural and religious sensitivities) in any size, but ideally, big enough for a child to hug.”

Please visit any of our 12 drop-off centers in Metro Manila:
Alabang—12 Brentwood St., Hillsborough, West Service Road, Alabang. Look for Magding or JC.
Greenhills—33 Madison St., North Greenhills, San Juan. Look for Ann or Shirley.
Asuncion Berenguer Inc. 3/F Homestudio Bldg., 63 Connecticut (same building as Homestudio, Torch resto and Bose), Northeast Greenhills. Please leave with guard and indicate “Bears for YBHM.”
Makati—The Citadel Inn, 5007 P. Burgos St., Makati City c/o Andre Urbina; 15 Garcia Villa St., San Lorenzo Village, Makati. Please look for Marge.
Marikina—1 Ferdinand Marcos St., Industrial Valley Subd., Marikina. Leave with guard, please indicate “Bears for YBHM.”
Parañaque—Johnson and Johnson, Edison Road, Parañaque City (Edison is street by Zuellig). Leave with guard, indicate “Bears for YBHM.”
14 C. Diamond St., Greenheights Village, Sucat, Parañaque. Look for Yaya Marlene.
Quezon City—A-2 Doña Sotera, Pilarville Subd., QC c/o Dennis Mariano; 41 Milkyway Drive, Blue Ridge B, QC. Look for Lily.
C1C3 Narra Heights Condominium, 28 Mariposa St., QC (near Camp Crame)
Eastwood City—Unit 5c Eastwood Lafayette Tower 3, Eastwood Ave.,  Libis,  QC (in front of Watsons, near McDonalds).  Leave with guard indicate “Bears for YBHM.”

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sofia's Holiday Plans

As a new mom, I am always worried that I am not doing a good job. In fact there are times when I think, I may be screwing my kid up. Then there are those magic moments where all my worries fade away and I grow up a little too. 

We have been monitoring the situation in Northern Mindanao afftected by Typhoon Sendong for a few days now since we have friends and family in the area. Whenever we watch the news we try to not let Sofie see the more sensitive images. Last Monday, while watching TV Patrol, she often asked me what happened to the people in TV and why are their houses wet and dirty. I had to explain to her that their houses were washed away because of the storm and they have nothing left. 

Here's how our conversation went:

Mommy: "They don't have houses, clothes and food". 
Sofie: "They can go to Ministop
Mommy: "They don't have Ministop, too because of the storm"

Suddenly she got up and locked the front door, "I don't like my house to be wet!" she finally said. At this moment I was thinking, oh darn it, I'm raising a snob!

Later that night, after her bedtime story, she kept turning around in bed and kept opening her eyes. I told her that it was late and that she needed to get some sleep. After a few more minutes of counting sheep, she suddenly said, "Mommy, the kids houses are wet, their chairs are wet, it's lying down not standing up, even their Ministop is wet". She was really looking stressed at this point so I asked her what she wanted to do "We go to fix their house so the kids houses are not wet". 

And there it was the magic moment. 

My daughter reminded me that instead of stressing on our Christmas plans, gifts and what nots there are more important things. 

The following day we looked for ways to help and instead of physically going there to "fix" houses, she agreed to give away her some toys, old clothes and early Christmas gift from Tita E. 

If you want to help out Typhoon Sendong Victims please see the useful links below;

For Residents in Cebu City

U.P. CEBU ALPHA PHI OMEGA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION is conducting a RELIEF OPERATIONS DRIVE. We will be accepting relief donations, in any forms ( clothing, food supplies ) It will be collated and sent to ILIGAN & CDO on 23rd of December 2011.
You may drop your donations at U.P. Cebu Guardhouse.

Send Stuffed Toys to Children and Toiletries for Women (Drop off  points all over Manila and QC)

Red Cross

LBC Foundation - Accepts all kinds of goods to be shipped for free. 

PAL - Accepts all kinds of goods to be shipped for free. 

Let's all make magic moments!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What's Cooking: Like We've Never Scrambled Before

I am and egg and mayo person but for the life of me I have never put them together until yesterday when I tried Lady's Choice Real Mayonnaise Scrambulicious recipe. I thought it would be a bit too tangy but when I tasted it, oh man, was I wrong! It was like I have never tasted scrambled eggs in my life. And it only took 3 minutes to make! My hubby, who's palate is almost always opposed to anything new, loved it . . . we'll more like devoured it really. My kid who only eats egg whites ate half of everything. I had to cook a second batch for our sit down breakfast. We sort of finished the whole plate before it hit the table.

We are on our second mayo-lovin' day today and this time it was hubby who cooked the eggs. It's a Herculean feat for him too, seeing as he can't cook eggs to save his life. (Luv u!) Now I think I'm going to cook some for dinner too, it should be great with minute steak;-)

Here's the Scrambulicious recipe:

4 pcs eggs
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground pepper
4 tbsp Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise
2 tbsp cooking oil
chopped cilantro for garnish
  1. Beat the egg, salt and pepper until frothy.
  2. In another bowl, put Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise. Slowly pour the beaten eggs while whisking the mixture together until well blended.
  3. Heat oil in the frying pan. Add the beaten eggs. Keep on stirring, do not overcook.
  4. To add a bit of zing sprinkle some chopped cilantro when you plate the dish. 
If you think I'm exaggerating then you have to grab your self some Lady's Choice Real Mayonnaise and try it yourself.


What's Cooking: Salmon Belly and Dill Canapes

Last weekend we had some friends over and had ourselves a little party. I have been obsessed by canapes, tapas and other finger food over the past few days. First, you can make them with almost anything you got lying on your pantry. Second, they're quick and easy to make, plus when served in a nice tray or hors d'oeuvre tower, you'll look like a culinary goddess!

So here's a little something I came up with. It's a twist on the classic Smoked Salmon and Dill Bites but it tastes great and is very affordable.  

Salmon Belly and Dill Canapes


1/4 kilo Salmon Belly (cost about Php65 in Shopwise)
Juice from half a lemon or about 5 pcs calamansi
10 pcs Capers
1 tbsp pickled relish
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp spanish paprika
1 packet (80ml)  Lady's Choice Tuna Spread with Real Tuna
2 tbsp  Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise
2-3 sprigs of dill

  1. Squeeze lemon juice on salmon belly and steam for about 5-7 minutes or until cooked. 
  2. Once salmon belly is cooked and cooled, flake the meat, discard skins and bones. Set aside in a bowl. 
  3. In another bowl,  mix capers, pickle relish, salt, pepper, paprika, half of the dill leaves,  Lady's Choice Tuna Spread with Real Tuna and  Real Mayonnaise.  Fold in flaked salmon meat.
  4. Spread about a teaspoon full on sliced toasted baguettes and top with dill for garnish. 

More Tapas &  Hors d'oeuvre recipes to come!


Monday, December 19, 2011

DQ Christmas Cakes Giveaway

My daughter loves Dairy Queen, she utterly loves it and it has become one of her favorite stops after taking our frequent afternoon walks. You can just imagine our excitement when we got DQ Gift Certificates through, we get to try out their DQ Blizzard Cakes for Christmas and then some, yey!

The timing was perfect since we also had our yearly Christmas Party with our friends. What I really wanted to try out was the Blackforest Cake but it wasn't ready yet when hubby went to the store so he got the Chocolate Extreme cake instead. I super loved it, the chocolate ice cream combined with a crunchy almost cookie like center was perfect for my sweet tooth.  I was not able to take pictures while eating my DQ ice cream because well, let's just say I needed to concentrate. So here are the before and after photos.

Check out Dairy Queens Christmas Cakes Giveaway for Moms. It's the perfect ending to your Noche Buena Feast. As for me, I'm still eyeing that Black Forest cake.


On Preschool & Epic Fails

On Preschool

Being a first time mom means being constantly shocked by things your child does or things that you end up doing because of the said little munchkin. Sofie has been going to pre-school for a couple of months now and we can see how happy she is and even for a short period of time we can see that she is becoming a well rounded, compassionate child. Now being new to the preschool routine, hubby and I of course try to make sure that she has everything she needs. Every morning we wake up early, hubby prepares her baon while I get her ready for school. I go with her to school and stay until she gets out and we diligently check the teacher's reminders every time it is sent. I like how we as a family are all excited to be doing this preschool thing then I hear stuff like "Is she your only child?" " Ahhh that's why." Does it mean that the excitement and attention wanes or gets divided the more children you have? Well, I sure hope not, after all love doesn't get divided it just multiplies. 

On Epic Fails

I've always been a DIY kinda girl and I guess now I'm a DIY kinda mom. Since Sofie entered school during the middle of the year, she is basically the only one running around wearing regular clothes instead of her school uniform. We tried to order one but unfortunately they don't have it in her size anymore and would need to have one done. I found the cost of 1 set to be a bit pricey and thought well since I already made her a gown for Halloween, a school uniform would be easy. After all it was just a blouse and jumper set, easy enough, right? NOT!!!  I was able to do the jumper quite successfully since it was pretty much shaped like a pillow case with straps. The blouse on the other hand. . . EPIC FAIL! Who knew the bane of my existence would lie in a baby collar. So I ended up making three jumpers and buying the upper uniform in the mall then I just attached the patch. 

How NOT to Make a Uniform
Over all I still managed to save a few hundred pesos but the stress the baby collar gave me was immense! Nevertheless, the first time we put on Sofie's uniform she was so happy looking so grown up. Despite my epic fail her smile was simply priceless. 


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sofie's Angry Bird Birthday Part 2

After the cake ordeal, next stop was the party. We did't really plan a big one, we just ordered spaghetti from McDonald's, blew some balloons and along with the cake, brought the classic hot dog and marshmallow combo to school. We didn't want a big production that will end up disrupting the kids routine, so we just inserted our mini-party during the snack and story time. Since it's our first time to have a school party, the teachers were very helpful and we all enjoyed the party. The Angry Birds cake was a sure hit, as apparently even kids as young as three know who they are. They each got a slice of cake and an angry bird, Sofie got the piglet ;-)

My husband and I prepared a "little entertainment", instead of having clowns or mascots that only end up making the kids cry. We got some floating cards and Wacky Worms and try to do our own "magic". We practiced for about a week . . . okay. . . he practiced, while I watched, as he made Wacky jump and spin and dance. A classic case of stage fright struck us right before we went to the  kids room, even though our audience is just a bunch of pre-schoolers. Luckily, it's easy to make them happy and everyone liked their new friends "Purpley" and "Pinky". 

After the school party we had a little party of our own, I asked Sofie if she liked her party and she said Mommy and Daddy "fixed" it and that she is so happy. At the end of the day that's all we really wanted. 


Sofie's Oh So Angry Bird Birthday Part 1

When I was a little girl, having a pink birthday cake with a ceramic princess sitting on top of it was a dream come true. There were a few choices back then and you either got a chocolate, mocha or vanilla cake with flowers on toothpicks stuck all over the cake and they either came from Merced, Fortune, Goldilocks or your local bakeshop. Now a days, they've got all kinds of stuff like princesses, bratz, plants, zombies, all kinds of critters, superheroes and birds. There's a gazillion places to get your cakes from and you can even order online. In preparing for Sofie's 4th birthday, we asked her what she wanted to do since it's the first time she is going to celebrate her birthday in school. She said she wanted to have a party, so we said yes. She wanted balloons, check! She wanted a cake, an angry birds cake! Hmmm.

Mommy: Anak, how about a princess cake?
Sofie: No, I want Angry Birds.
Mommy: How about a Dora one. 
Sofie: No, that will not work. I want Angry Birds cake. 

Okay, she knows what she wants and we are going to have an Angry Birds Party. Hubby and I scoured the tianges to look for Angry Birds loot bag items. I have to say it was quite easy, they've got all kinds of Angry Birds stuff, and I mean all kinds! From pens, stationery, toys, shirts, even mini-fans. Seriously! 

For the cake I turned to my best buddy, Google, to look for cake makers in my area. After a couple of clicks I found a couple of suppliers but their prices were a bit steep (Php100+ for a character cupcake!) and we really couldn't find a design we wanted. So, as always I decided to make the cake myself. First, I tried it on play-doh to see if I can make a decent looking Angry Bird. It looked fine, well, cute really! I understand the fascination now. 

First thing was to make the fondant, for the recipe and how-to, I asked Google again. For the marshmallow fondant, I used a recipe I got from Yummy magazine and for the birds I must have studied every single tutorial there is. Not really but it was a LOT! 

I used rice krispie treats wrapped in fondant to make the pigs and birds. One tip I learned about all this is to have a bowl of shortening on hand, to keep things from sticking everywhere. It beats getting a hand paraffin, my hands were soft and supple after making a batch. Plus, I had fun making those nasty birdies!

For the sling shot (we just had to have one) I tied two straws together, you know the bendy kind, and wrapped that in brown fondant. For the cake, I have to admit I cheated. I'm a big cheat, cheater, cheat twat and for sure the pastry goddess will frown on me for using a cake mix. Then again, I'm no Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker and I only did it this one time, so there, I said it. I used a cake mix!

As much as I would love to do a full-on tutorial, I can't! So here are my sources: 

Marshmallow Fondant Recipe by Yummy

Angry Birds Toppers Tutorial from Several Fabulous Sites


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Off! Lotion Tea Party

Last week Sofie and I were invited to attend the Off! Lotion Tea Party, it was held in Lemuria, a cozy restaurant in Q.C. We had a pretty good experience tasting mini hors d'oeuvres and cupcakes while Sofie had a fun time over at the kiddie activity corner. Actually scratch that, we both had a blast at the kiddie corner. There was a craft activity where I ended up making most of, while my little girl enjoyed listening to one of the hosts read a fable. One thing I rediscovered since the princess started school, I'm actually good at making art projects;-0

For the mommies, there was a forum hosted by celebrity mom Suzi Entrata-Abrera with Top Moms, Dr. Empress Carlos-Villapando, a pediatrician and Dr. Anna Vazquez, a child psychiatrist. Amidst the fun and chikka  they also shared invaluable advice mommies can use to raise their kids. These two ladies will be sharing more of their wisdom and experiences through a new community website, Top Moms powered by Off! Lotion. The site features expert advise, Top Mom Quiz , a photo wall and many more, I'm excited to see their official launch this December!

Overall we had a fun experience and we even met a couple of friends;-)

Enjoying the grass with her new friend.

Did you notice her yarn change from pink to purple?! Just like a cooking show, mommy did the finished product. 



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