April 30, 2013

Sumo Sam



I was about to blog this yesterday but I felt so weak when I saw our electricity bill. Did you receive your bill already? I expected that there will be tremendous increase but I still can’t accept it. =) I’ve been married for 7 years and this is the most expensive electricity bill that I’ve received. Well, it is better to pay electricity bills than hospital bills because of heat stroke.

Moving on, we ate our lunch in Sumo Sam before going to Fun Farm. I called my sister and she’s running late so we decided to eat here instead of fastfood. It is one of the new restaurants in Ayala Pavillion Mall so we tried it.



Since it was our first time, we took our time in checking the menu and I could say the price is not affordable but when our order arrived, we were surprised because the meal is good for two persons so I guess the price is worth it. We ordered Meat Kamameshi P249, Katsudon P268 and Tofu Miso P68.

Tofu Miso
Katsudon

Meat Kamameshi
As I mentioned, they have generous serving so we did not finish our meal. I was satisfied with the taste and flavor but according to my husband, taste is just ok. Well, taste is subjective. 

April 26, 2013

7 Things that you Can Do in Fun Farm at Sta Elena

I’ve read about Fun Farm at Sta Elena in Daphne’s blog last year, I wanted to visit this farm but I thought the location is really far. It was only last month when I’ve learned that this Fun Farm is located in Laguna. Waah! It is more or less 30 minutes travel time from our place without traffic. That’s what happened if you did not consult Google immediately.

Click here for video


Last month, I suggested this place for our last gala with my mom but they chose the Station of the Cross at BHS. I’ve been meaning to visit the place because I want my son to experience different activities in the farm. Not the usual activity that can be found in the mall. I asked my sister if she wanted to visit the place and she agreed so she made reservation. Last April, 20, 2013 we finally visited Fun Farm at Sta Elena.


Upon arrival we paid the entrance fee which is P300 per person, same rate for kid and adults. Then we immediately explore and enjoy the place.


Things that you can do in Fun Farm at Sta Elena


1. Fishing my husband caught a small fish but no photo.


2. Boating


3. Animal Feeding - rabbits and guinea pigs



4. Horse Riding



5. Carabao Ridemeet “Choc-nut”


6. Picnic we brought our own food and drinks because there’s no restaurant inside.


7. Play



We enjoyed our farm experience despite the extreme heat and kids didn’t want to leave the place but we have to say goodbye because we still need to visit my grandmother. My son was really happy and he had a lot of first time experiences that I’m sure he will never forget.

How to get to Fun Farm at Sta Elena:

Exit Cabuyao/Sta Elena. After Tollgate, make a right. About 500 meters is the Sta. Elena Villlage Gate. Enter there and drive straight to the Fun Farm. 

Commuting Directions to Fun Farm at Sta Elena




April 24, 2013

Kite Flying



Kite flying is one of the activities of my husband and son every weekend. I guess they’ve been flying kites for almost a month already but it was only last Sunday that I went with them. They invited me to join their bonding and since I have nothing to do I’m lazy to do household chores I joined them.

“I hope my children look back on today and see a mother who had time to play. There will be years for cleaning and cooking…for children grow up while we’re not looking”



I brought my camera so I could take pictures. I was just sitting in one corner then after few minutes, they’re calling me already.

Ethan: Mommy, throw the kite. Repeat 10x


Now I understand why they invited me to join, gusto nila na may taga hagis sila ng kite nila. It was a tiring activity, you know naman, I’m not active and I don’t like physical activity. But I had fun; I witnessed how happy my son flying kites kahit ilang minutes lang nagstay ang kite niya in the air. I can hear the laughter and I can see the smile from ear to ear. #walangkapaguran


April 23, 2013

Homemade Palitaw

One of my favorite merienda when I was young is palitaw; I can still remember those days that I really wait for the vendor, naglalako habang sumisigaw ng “palitaw” in our neighborhood. After I graduated and started working, we crossed our path again and she still remembers me “ang kanyang suki”, but that was years ago.



Anyway, last weekend I’ve made my very first homemade palitaw. I asked my husband to buy glutinous rice, grated coconut and sesame seeds in the market. Cooking palitaw is easy, the only problem is I can’t shape the dough properly so I ended up making different sizes. Well, the only problem is making a consistent size of palitaw but shapes or sizes do not matter since I won't sell it. 

Homemade Palitaw Recipe

1. Boil 2 quarts of water.
2. Toast the sesame seeds, mix it in 1 cup sugar and set aside.
3. Put the glutinous rice in a bowl then slowly add water until you get the right consistency.  
4. Shape dough into egg sized oval and flatten with thumb.
5. Drop palitaw in boling water and scoop out as soon as they float.
6. Drain and roll in grated coconut.
7. Serve with sugar and toasted sesame seeds.

That's it! Happy eating!

April 22, 2013

Top Family Activities to do in Fuerteventura

Millions of people visit the island of Fuerteventura every year, not only because it’s a truly stunning place, but there are so many things to see and do, it’s hard to know where to start! From historical monuments to amazing beaches, tourists flock from all over the world to experience traditional culture combined with great food, hot sun and delightful hospitality. Let’s take a look at some of the top family activities in Fuerteventura, and see whether this is a place you’d want to holiday with your family. 

Lobos Island

Lobos island can be found towards the north of Fuerteventura, and until the 1800s, it housed vast numbers of sea wolves and other rare animal species. There are very few settlements here, however tourists are encouraged to take tours to the island to see the dark volcanic sands, and historical monuments the island’s original settlers built for the Gods. If you’re travelling with your children, then a guided tour of Lobos Island is a great way to introduce them to other cultures, and the sheer beauty of the island itself.

Photo Source

La Lajita Zoo
Zoos are always a great place to take children, and La Lajita is no exception. Although it is a small zoo, it still offers everything a family would need for a great day out, especially if you’re travelling with young kids. Located on the east coast of Fuerteventura, there are a variety of fishing activities to experience in this zoo, as well as rare and exotic marine life to see. With over 200 species of bird, botanical gardens and Camel Safaris, a day out at the zoo would be a great experience for the entire family!

Photo Source

Take The Grand Tour Of The Island 
No matter where you holiday in the world, going on a tour of the local area is a great way to get to grips with your surroundings. One of the best family activities to do in Fuerteventura is to take the grand tour, the all-inclusive trip that will equip you with detailed knowledge of the island, as well as showing you the most spectacular sights.

Departing from Corralejo, your English-speaking guide will make sure you’re all sitting comfortably in your air conditioned seats before your set off. As the bus takes you south towards La Olivia, you’ll stop off at a number of traditional dairy farms to sample some of the freshest cheeses and olives, and you’ll also be able to see goats grazing in their natural habitat.

Next, it’s back on the bus and off to the sacred mountain of tindaya. This mountain has been worshiped for thousands of years, and there are a number of historical monuments at the bottom of the mountain that your guide will educate you on.

You’ll then be driven off towards La Pared – the old wall and subsequent boarder between the two halves of the island. Finishing your tour on the sand beaches of Janida, you’ll be able to dine in some great restaurants overlooking the ocean. Flights to Fuerteventura can differ in price throughout the year, so make sure you compare prices on the internet.

April 19, 2013

13 Ways to Save Money

I’m a stay at home mom and living with a single income is not easy. There are times that we live from paycheck to paycheck and it is really hard to meet all our needs. If I will look back the days when I resigned from my work, I really don’t know how we were able to survive it. But God is good and He really provides our needs and even wants. 

As a wife, I need to be a good steward because I know my husband’s job is not easy peasy. I witnessed his overtime without pay, sleepless nights and working even on vacation leave, holiday and weekends. I’m proud to say that he’s doing a good job as our provider. 




Five years of being a full-time mom taught me a lot of things, I learned from my own experiences and other’s experiences. Like I always say, I’m not a financial expert but I hope these tips will also help you in budgeting and saving.

1. Plan your route 


I always plan our trip because I want to finish all my errands in a single trip. I want hitting two birds at the same time so I can save time, effort and money.


For example. 


a. I love going to World Trade Center because of the Christmas Bazaar so after visiting my family in Valenzuela to give my gifts, I will drop here to buy stuff before going home since I live in South area. 


b. I regularly visit my grandmother in Victoria, Laguna and if we have extra time we try to visit those places listed in Viaje Del Sol


C. I love taking notes and I always have list of “Things to do” and “Things to buy” so whenever we’re going to the mall, I bring my list. What’s in my list? These are the usual things that I have on my list, it just varies on due date. 


- Pay bills such as postpaid plans, internet provider, credit card, amortization and others. 

- Deposit or Withdraw. 
- Go to junkshop to sell our junk of course. 
- Grocery (things to buy) 
- Buy medicine and vitamins. I have psoriasis so I always buy medicine. 
- Pay SSS loan and SSS contribution …and many more. 

2. Refrigerate and Cupboard Awareness 


If you’ve read my energy saving tips, you know for sure that I religiously defrost our fridge every week before Wet Market Day. It is my time to clean the fridge and do my inventory. 


I will check the left-over, expiration date and list the things that we need to buy in the market. As I mentioned before I always have “Menu List”. I do check our cupboard every month to check expiration and clean it too. 


I have a notepad where I write all the stuff that we need to buy so it is not really difficult to do the inventory. 


3. Do not waste. Learn to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. You can read more on my Green Living post. 


4. Minimalist Living 


Think before you buy things. Ask yourself if you really need to buy stuff? Do you really need to buy the latest gadget? Do you need to follow fashion trend? We have rules in our house, “If it is broken, try to fix it. If it cannot be fixed, then replace it”. “If we buy something we need to let go something” like clothes because we have limited space in our cabinet. 


5. Decluttering 


Always remember “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. I used to sell preloved stuff in my multiply account and I was able to sell most of my son’s baby stuff. Other baby stuff, I gave to relatives. 


6. Buy or accept pre-loved stuff


When I started selling my pre-loved stuff, I also bought some pre-loved stuff. I just double check if the stuff is still in good condition or in great shape. I visit Warehouse Sale, Ukay-Ukay, and Garage Sales. 


If someone is giving hand me down clothes or other stuff, I welcome it with open arms. You can repair or fix the free stuff according to your needs and wants. Free is better. 


7. Join Contest and Giveaways 


If you have spare time, try your luck. Who knows you might win big prizes. I love joining contests and giveaways and my lucky year was last year. 


8. DIY 


You can really save if you do it yourself. Learn how to DIY your travels, kitchen ingredients, gifts and others. Read more here. 


9. Research


I subscribed to Facebook page and emails of different airlines and discount websites so I will be updated with all offers, seat sales, promos and discounts. But I only buy what I really need. 


10. Don’t scrimp on what matters. 


Though savings is a must, there are also times that we splurge for the experience just like our travels and food trips. Recreation is part of our family bonding. There are different ways to save money if you want to travel like searching for cheap airfare, staying in hostels or budget hotel, DIY your itinerary and many more.


11. Watch where your money goes


I have a notebook where I write our income and expenses every month. Since my husband receives a monthly paycheck, I have to make sure that we will have money for the whole month. I do list our credit card expenses just to make sure that we will not go beyond our limit and we can still pay our debt on the due date.


12. Teach kids the value of money.


I hope I can teach my son the value of money, as of now he doesn’t know the value of money. For him, money never runs out, you can get it from your wallet or ATM Machine. 


But he has his own piggy bank, savings account, and stocks. The amount is not that big but he is learning how to save his money. 


13. Invest on quality items 


When I say quality; buy furniture, appliances or gadgets that will last for long so you don't have to replace it every few years. Invest in energy saver appliances, solar panels to save electricity and printer that can print up to 6000 pages. 

Bonus: Learn to appreciate what you have and be happy with it.

"Do not envy the rich. They are blessed with the ability to create wealth. While their wealth may be in money you may be blessed in other areas that the rich do not have. We are all experts but only in different subject matters. Envy is a killer. If we keep on looking at the things we do not have then we will fail to appreciate the things we have." – Francis Kong 


Pray and believe that God will make a way where there seems to be no way.


Feel free to share your saving tips.

April 18, 2013

Travel Quotes and Inspirations

Photo Source

Travel the world without a destination, going wherever the roads take me.

Please be a traveller, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in. – Andrew Zimmean

If you’re 22, physicaly fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.

Book a ticket and just leave.

I would gladly live out of a suitcase if it meant I could see the world.

Time doesn’t wait for you. Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

A little step may be the beginning of a great journey.

No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow. – Lin Yutang

Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures.

Once a year go some place you’ve never been before – Dalai Lama



April 15, 2013

Resorts World: Crisostomo



I mentioned in my other blog that I won in Rica Peralejo’s Giveaway and after getting my prize, we went straight to Resorts World to have our lunch. For the longest time, I’ve been bugging my husband to bring me here but he always say “Wala naman magagawa dun”. Then last Saturday, I told him that he promised us that we will go to Solaire after we pick up my prize then bigla nagka-amnesia, nagging Resorts World na lang.


Anyway, at least I finally visited Resorts World and it reminds me of our Hotel-Casino hopping in Macau. There are casino, expensive boutiques, cinema and theatre where you can watch events.


We checked the available restaurants and setted in Crisostomo. I’ve been reading good reviews here and true enough we went home with happy tummies.


While browsing the menu they gave us complimentary cornick. 


We ordered Bagumbayan Lechon P285, Paella P395 and Extra Rice P60.



Actually, this is first time that I’ve tasted Paella though I included it in our wedding menu; I wasn’t able to taste it. #diakonakakainsawedding. Anyway, the serving and price is very reasonable. The service is good and they even gave us souvenir picture. Definitely, this won’t be our last visit.

Ang itim namin
Crisostomo Newport
Unit F &B3A 2nd Flr Newport city 100
Andrew Ave. Brgy 183 Newport City
Cybertourism Pasay City

Betty Crocker: Super Moist Cake



Last Friday, I was planning to bake banana bread to save our overripe banana but I saw Betty Crocker cake mix in our cupboard so I decided to bake this instead. I have the Betty Crocker “Super Moist Cake - Yellow” and I’ve made 20 cupcakes.


According to the package it is super moist cake but it wasn’t, the cupcake is soft but it is not super moist. Anyway, we still enjoy our yellow cupcake, I brought this in swimming lesson and my mommy friends love it. 

April 12, 2013

A Guide to The Beautiful Rooftop Bars of Bangkok


Bangkok has long held a reputation as a city filled with bars and colourful nightlife. The modern city of Bangkok has expanded to the extent that it can now quite simply be described as vast; a recent trend has been to move the bars from the busy and crowded streets of the city into the sky.

Sitting on top of some of Bangkok's most lavish building's rooftop bars are the city's new craze and can there be a better way of viewing the sprawling metropolis than from one of these chic, smart and beautifully designed bars.

Photo Source
1. Vertigo
The aptly named Vertigo bar can be found on top of the sixty one storey Banyan Tree Hotel. From above the restaurant resembles the bow of a great ship and provides visitors with a chilled atmosphere and the option to enjoy a relaxing meal with their drink. Popular with British Ex Pats this is a reasonably priced bar and is free of all obstructions to the view including walls and a roof. While there sample the signature cocktail the Vertigo Sunset with its Malibu base. ( Banyan Tree, Bangkok, 21/100 South Sathon Rd, Bangkok)

2. Sky Bar
Found on top of one of the most coveted sleeping quarters in the city, the Lebua Hotel, this bar has an international flavour and live jazz music to compliment its chic decor and stylish clientele. The actual bar itself, which sits on a promontory above the city, is illuminated and changes colour throughout the evening. Open until 1 am guests can sip the bars speciality A Sunset 63 a concoction based on Absolut Vodka and watch from this tranquil haven as the city chases itself through the night. ( Sky Bar at Scirocco, Lebua at State Tower, 1055 Silom Rd, Bangkok)

3. Blue Sky
One of the newest additions to the Bangkok rooftop bar collection this elegant bar is lined by glass walls providing an unobscured view of the metropolis. This is a bar of split personality, frequented by city workers in search of peace and tranquillity in the early evening but becoming a party goers haven as the night progresses. The Blue Sky is open until 2 am and sits on the roof of the Sofitel Centara Granda. (Blue Sky Bar, Sofitel Centara Granda, 1695 Phaholyothin Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok.)

4. The Long Table
A few floors above the famous infinity edge swimming pool of the luxury Column Hotel, The Long Table provides shelter from the elements with its roof and glass walls and has to be the coolest of all the Bangkok rooftop bars. With a view over the city's lake and the Banjakiti Park this club was created by the same team who created the club scene institution the Bed Supperclub and the guest list reflects the bars status. This is where you will find the Bangkok in-crowd possibly seated at the seventy seater table believed to be the longest in the world. (The Long Table, The Column, 48, Sukhumvit Soi 16, Klongtoey, Bangkok)

5. Three Sixty
For a more close up view of the city skyline try the Three Sixty, a favoured haunt of F1 star Lewis Hamilton. In the heart of the city's luxury hotel area it can be found on the banks of the Chao Praya river and is a cosy place where its guests can relax and listen to the often internationally renowned jazz singers who play here. (Three Sixty, The Millennium Hilton, 123 Charoennakorn Road, Klongsan, Bangkok)

John is a freelance travel writer, who documents his travel experiences on various websites as well as his own. He is currently working with Cheapflights.com.au.

Adobo Connection



Last Tuesday after my son’s swimming lesson we went to SM Sta Rosa to pay bills and we had early lunch in Adobo Connection. One of my favorite menus in the house is Adobo, well it is so easy to cook so it is always in my menu. As in every week yata may adobo kami. I cook chicken adobo, pork adobo, adobong liver and gizzard, adobong sitaw and many more. Hehehe! Sabi nga nila


So it took me time in trying Adobo Connection restaurant because I always eat adobo but for the sake of trying this restaurant we ate here.

We ordered Kuya’s Fried Mix Adobo P109, Lola’s Classic Mix Adobo P119, Gising-Gising P35 and Iced Tea with Soup P32. My husband is ordering extra rice for my son but the staff said “wag na daw bata naman”. Our meal kasi is rice all you can and hindi naman malakas kumain anak ko so we only order 2 adobo meals. Kudos to the staff! =)


The serving is huge so even it is rice all you can, I did not ask for extra serving. I tried two adobo meals but of course I still like my own version of adobo. The chicken was tender but the pork was not and I find it dry. But my husband likes the Gising-Gising, it is very spicy kaya tagaktak ang pawis habang kumakain. 

April 10, 2013

Isdaan


After checking-out in Casa San Pablo we went straight to Isdaan for our dinner. We always pass this restaurant on our way to my grandmother’s house but since we have tried the Isdaan inTarlac we were not tempted to eat here, in addition we can eat free in my grandmother’s house. 


Well, my mom was here so we can eat free of charge in Isdaan. Hehehe! I was tired already so I did not check the place but according to my husband, this branch is bigger than Tarlac Branch.

Kids received free balloons and loot bags.


It is not easy to order sa dami ng pagpipilian so we just ordered Boodle Fight Round 1 which includes Pinatola Soup, Binagoongang Baboy, fried Tilapia, Pansit Sisig, Lumpiang Bukid, Tadtad Mangga, Sibuyas, Kamatis, Itlog na Maalat with Bagoong, Tacsiyapong Gulay and Bagong Saing sa Kaldero. (P4763 good for 8 pax). We add 3 Bagong Saing sa Kaldero and Sizzling Shrimp Gambas.


After the food was served, galit-galit na kami and no more talking.


In fairness, we enjoyed the food and we left very full at may take-out pa. Hindi namin naubos sa dami.


My husband and son tried boating. It is free but P20 tip for the boatman. They haven’t tried the Gondola in Venetian Macau when we went there so dito na lang, hehehe! 





April 08, 2013

Day Trip at Casa San Pablo




Casa San Pablo is in my bucket list, as I mentioned before I wanted to visit those places listed in Viaje Del Sol so when my mom told me that they will be staying in my grandmother’s house and planning to swim, I immediately asked what resort?

Me: San naman magswim?
Mom: Splash Mountain.
Me: Wow, bago yan ha, di ko pa napupuntahan yan (joking)
Mom: Yung sa dati. (she did not get my joke)
Me: Wala na bang bago.

Seriously, we’ve been in Splash Mountain for the nth time since I got married and I know how crowded the resort during summer so I suggested Casa San Pablo and I gave her a link. She immediately said yes so I inquired (March 20, Wed) and they gave me this rate.


DAY TRIP RATES:

Day Trip with Lunch, PM snack
1,243/head (inclusive of 10% service charge and 3% local tax)
Special Discounted Rate:
550/head (inclusive of 10% service charge and 3% local tax)

Day Trip with AM snack, Lunch, PM snack
1,412.50/head (inclusive of 10% service charge and 3% local tax)
Special Discounted Rate:
650/head (inclusive of 10% service charge and 3% local tax)

Inclusive of the following:
*Use of a room from 11:30AM to 6:00PM
*Use of the resort amenities

We avail the P650 Day Trip Package (kids and adults) including the morning snack, lunch and merienda. Two years old below is free of charge. I was glad that they were able accommodate us so my sister deposit the 100% payment on Friday for our Saturday day trip which is March 23.


Since my grandmother lives in Victoria, Laguna we left past 7AM so we can reach the place before 8AM. Don't forget to print the confirmation letter because you need to present it before you can enter the gate. They are really strict because the guard really counted the number of people inside our car.

The guard assisted us to the resort, the staff gave me a form to fill out and I paid P500 for key deposit. She handed me the key and assisted us to our rooms. As early as 8AM we were able to check in.

Our room #16 and #17
Dormitory type of room
I must agree with other reviews that the swimming pool is not inviting but for our kids, swimming pool is still swimming pool so they don’t care about the looks as long as they can swim.


Anyway, Casa San Pablo is not really a resort but a bed and breakfast where you can relax and unwind so aside from this swimming pool, you can do more to enjoy the place.

1.You can stay in the swing or hammock.


2.You can play in the playground.


3.You can ride a bike.


4.Or simply take advantage the “Art of Doing Nothing” Honestly, I enjoyed my stay here because I love my routine, “Eat and Rest”. We left at exactly 5PM para sulit ang aming stay.


Food


Morning Snack "Spaghetti + Toasted Bread". Ito lang ang masarap
Fried Fish, Kare-Kareng Manok na walang gulay and Pinakbet na walang sahog, Bland Soup and Ube.
Merienda. Suman with Champorado Drink, oops Hot Chocolate
Pro’s

1. They immediately reply in my emails so we were able to book Day Trip Package in a span of few days.
2. Free Wifi.
3. I really recommend the place if you need some R&R and a weekend getaway away from hustle and bustle of the city.
4. Aside from confirmation letter and map, they will also provide you travel guide where you can visit other places near the area. These places are listed in Viaje Del Sol.

Con’s

1. We enjoy the place but not the food. Kulang sa lasa and family style ang serving so bitin siya sa min. Imagine kids pa ang kasama namin, how much more kung adult kami lahat na magshare.
2. Service is not that good, the wait staff are not approachable and parang ayaw magsmile. Ang tagal din naming naghintay sa lunch, past 12:30PM na nagserve.
3. The place is not well maintained because when we went to the swimming pool, we have to wipe the chairs and table sa dami ng alikabok and spider web.

CASA SAN PABLO | Barrio San Roque, San Pablo City, Laguna, Philippines
Mobile: +63 920 962 4083 or +63 917 812 6687 | Phone: +63 2 211 2132 | Fax: +63 2 724 7023
Email: info@casasanpablo.com