December 30, 2011

Highlights of 2011

January - After so many years, we had a get-together (Youth Builders) get together.

February - We celebrated our wedding anniversary in Boracay 
March - We visited Ilog Maria Honeybee Farm and revisited Lingayen, Pangasinan

April - Grandfather-in-law's interment, B.M.W.Caleruega and Liliw, Laguna
May - Nuvali and Ethan's Summer Class

June - Hubby's birthday at Sambokojin and Ethan's first international trip at Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

July - Attended Cassey's Christening and Birthday

August - my birthday celebration in Cebu and revisited Villa Escudero

September - Family outing at Blue Coral Resort
October - Ethan's birthday celebration in Ark Avilon Zoo, Fun Ranch and Enchanted Kingdom
November - Family trip in Baguio
December - Christmas and New Year Celebration


Thank you Lord for all the blessings! Goodbye 2011 and Hello 2012! Happy New Year to everyone!

December 29, 2011

Thomas Climbing Set

I was having a hard time thinking which gift I will buy for my son, Christmas had passed and we still have no gift. Good thing that my son was not asking for gift yet. 

But it’s better to be late than never so finally we bought our gift, “Thomas Climbing Set” and additional character Stanley.




I thought this is just a small train set but I was wrong, it occupies most of our free space in our room. 

My son loves Thomas and Friends so we’re not surprised if he likes this gift, all out ang smile. The only disadvantage of this toy is I need lots of batteries and to save me from buying batteries, I bought rechargeable one.



Shoe Room

I was not blessed with good height and my parents did not invest on Cherifer so I always wear high heels but when I got pregnant, I started wearing flat shoes and I enjoy wearing it so now my high heels shoes are only for special occasion and event.


I forgot to tell you that I bought a pair of shoes in World Bazaar Festival, the only non-food item that I bought. I’ve been using these flat shoes during my busy days and I could attest that this shoe is really comfy and no foot ache at the end of the day. Another good thing about these shoes is, it is made of breathable materials, affordable and you can customize your own shoes. So if you are looking for comfortable shoes, try Shoe Room.


P370 - shoes that i bought

Photo Credits: Shoe Room Facebook Page


Shoe Room 

#14 Redwood St. New Marikina Subdivision San Roque, 1801 Marikina Valley Subdivision, Philippines
Hours Mon - Fri: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Sat: 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
myshoeroom@gmail.com

December 27, 2011

Holiday 2011

I can definitely say that this is the most stressful Christmas season for me because we tried to squeeze our “to do list” in our limited schedule, hubby was on leave last Thursday and Friday, but it didn’t happen again because he needs to go to Cainta just to check something (baka siya daw masisi pag nawalan ng telepono ang Ortigas extension). 

Thursday

Staff cannot follow his instructions over the phone so we have no choice but to go there. (so pumasok din kami sa work). Good thing that we only stayed for almost two hours, kakainip kaya maghintay.
From Cainta, we went to MOA to get my Skin Food free sample then we had our early dinner at Gotti’s.

Friday

We went to Pag-ibig office to pay our amortization, then back to Cainta again just to check the progress, after that, we went straight to Valenzuela to attend Christening, buzzer beater sa reception. Hehe! 

The reception is a few minutes away from my family so I visited them again and pick up my son’s gift (may naiwan pa).  Dropped by at Sampaloc to see my husband’s nephew and we went home.

Saturday

So last Saturday, I did not prepare any food for our Noche Buena because I really want to rest, rest and rest. Knowing me, I am so lazy to cook during holidays so I already bought some frozen foods from Contis last Sunday, we had lasagna for breakfast, lengua estofado for lunch and steak (hubby is the one who grilled it) and mango cake for dinner. No more Noche Buena, we slept after dinner. =)


another favorite from Red Ribbon
Christmas time, we went to church and rest. Then we left at 4PM to fetch my in-laws at Cubao bus terminal (from Pangasinan) and grandmother in law in Pasig.

Yesterday, we went to Tagaytay and Nuvali to tour my in-laws before we dropped them off to Laguna.

December 23, 2011

Annoying Children Behavior in Restaurants & How to Stop Them

A restaurant in Pennsylvania, USA, has recently banned children below 6 years of age from entering their doors. The reason? Younger kids are often difficult to control and end up disturbing other customers’ dining experiences.

Whether you agree with the action or not, you have to admit that as a parent, there have been times when you were unable to stop your child from misbehaving in restaurants. As you know, it can be quite embarrassing. Some parents might not even be aware that their kids' actions affect others.



As a guide, here’s a list of annoying children’s behavior in restaurants from parents and restaurant goers. After the list, you’ll also find tips on how to minimize these types of disruptive actions.

Annoying Things Your Child Might Be Doing in Restaurants 

Running around
Picking her nose
Screaming or shrieking
Singing or talking loudly
Removing items from other customers’ tables
Putting food under the table
Playing with food Tantrums

While everyone may not agree on what the proper decorum is in a public setting, it’s worth mentioning that everyone must be considerate of others. How do you get your child to behave better in restaurants?

Tips on Minimizing Misbehaving 

1. Age 

It’s easier to train and reprimand kids 3 and up. If you have a younger toddler, you may want to bring her to kid-friendly restaurants especially if you know it will be difficult to control her. In going to places that are more tolerant of kids, other customers who enter are aware that their dining experience may be interrupted by the occasional scream or flying food.

2. Distinguish different settings, and types of behavior required in each setting 

Teach your child that there is a time and place for everything. A play area is for playing, while a restaurant is for eating. Tell her she can run, skip or hop to her heart's content inside a play area. However, she should only walk and stay glued to her chair when dining out.

3. Set expectations before going to the restaurant Lay some ground rules. 

Prior to leaving for the restaurant, have a little chat with your child about how she should behave while dining out. Use positive statements as much as possible, such as: use your quiet voice, food should stay on the plate (as opposed to under the table), walk only, sit still on the high chair, etc. Emphasize that other people eating in the restaurant should be respected by showing them proper behavior.

4. Bring toys (as long as they aren't noisy) 

Take your child’s favorite toy(s) along to keep her occupied in the restaurant. You may also take crayons and coloring books to keep idle hands busy.

5. Mood levels 

Make sure your kid is well-rested so she won’t be cranky. This decreases the chances of a major meltdown from taking place.

6. Patience 

Just because you did steps 2 and 3, it’s not a guarantee that your child will remember to behave the entire time. Be prepared to reprimand her throughout your dining experience. If your kid misbehaves (she is a child, after all), respond to her in a calm manner. If she doesn’t stop crying loudly, step out of the restaurant until she is ready to enter again.

Conclusion: It’s every parents' responsibility to teach their children how to behave when dining out. Use the tips above to make your dining experience a better one for your family and other restaurant patrons too.

Today’s guest post is by Anne Mercado of Green Eggs and Moms. Anne is a mom who is passionate about raising happy, healthy and smart children. How? With a glass of information, a pitcher of love, a gallon of patience, and of course, a bucket of humor. She believes that though parenting is challenging, it doesn't have to be boring.

December 17, 2011

My Blog’s Wishlist

Well, because it’s Christmas and people are making their own Christmas wish list, I also listed down my wish list on my blog. I started blogging just this year, to be specific February 2011. Actually, I’ve been meaning to have my own blog since 2008 so I registered my first blog using Wordpress, but my first post is also my last post. I was having a hard time exploring and using Wordpress so I stopped. And now, I can’t even remember my user id and password.




Then after resigning from my part-time job as a ghostwriter, “Michi Photostory” was born and the rest is a history. Now, I enjoy blogging and sharing pieces of my life and because of that I want to improve my blog site. So these are my wish lists for this blog. (haba ng intro noh).

1.   Blog Makeover – right now, I’m using common themes. I checked some packages and the lowest that I’ve seen is $30. I do not have the budget yet but sponsors are very welcome. 


Checked: To celebrate my 6th Blogversary, I finally invest in my Blog Makeover, it is not a total makeover but it gave a new look to my blog. I just purchased a Blogger Template here for $15 only. 

2.   DSLR – it’s an open secret that I really want to have a new camera, though I am not really into photography but I still want to have my own DSLR. I’m choosing between Canon EOS 1100D and Nikon D3100. I think this is the cheapest DSLR in the market.


Checked: Whenever my husband will buy DSLR for me, my laptop stopped working so he will buy a laptop instead of a camera but during our 10th wedding anniversary (2016), he gifted me FUJI X-A2 mirrorless camera. I am satisfied with my camera because I can take photos and record videos on my YouTube Channel.

3.   External hard drive – I do not have one, I’m just using DVD's and USB to save my files but after what happened to my laptop two months ago, I realized that I need this one to back up my files.


Checked: My husband bought one a few years ago, I just can't remember the exact date, maybe year 2014. :)

4.   Domain – this is my dream ever since I created this blog, I just don’t know how. I’ve been contemplating about this.

Checked:  Finally, I bought my own domain last Tuesday. Tee-hee! For the past few months, I keep on asking, searching and reading information about buying own domain but I’m still scared to try even I’ve seen some promos, I did not grab it. Sayang! Anyway, I have my own domain na, dotcom (sosyal! sana may pang renew ako noh. hehe!). The only disadvantage is my stats are back to zero.  

December 12, 2011

Skip Hop Zoo Pack






If you still remember my post Christmas Gifts for Kids 2’’, Skip Hop Zoo Pack is one of my lists and just yesterday, I’ve got my order. Yes, I bought it online and I was happy that seller agreed for meet-up. My son really loves this zoo pack; he hugged his zoo pack on our way home.




When we reached home, he immediately put it on his back and the only time that he removes his zoo pack is when he is taking a bath and sleeps. I thought that he was just so excited but when he woke up, he grabbed his zoo pack and wore it again. He was wearing it during our breakfast. =)



I was happy that he likes his zoo pack so I am not surprised that even celebrities are using Skip Hop Zoo Pack. I will definitely buy another one when he goes to school next year. This is better alternative than using his “cars” bag, would you believe that almost all the kids in his summer camp has “cars” bag so I have to put a picture tag on his bag so he can identify his bag.


Age: 3+
 • BPA-Free, Phthalate-free
 • Roomy main compartment
 • Insulated pouch for snacks
 • Adjustable mesh bottle pocket
 • Padded, adjustable comfy straps
 • Write-on nametag inside
 • Easy to clean lining
 • Dimensions (inches): 10.5 wide x 12 high x 5 deep

December 11, 2011

Oven Baked Steak and Potatoes

It’s pretty obvious that I’m a meat eater so diet is not really my thing, though I know that it is not good for our health but I cannot give up on meat yet, not now. =) Steak is one of my favorite food and in fact my comfort food but this was the first time that I cook my steak in an oven. I usually grill my steak because I find it easy but after I’ve tried baking it, I’m now a convert. I can prepare two dish at the same time so less hassle for me.





½ kilo of sirloin steak
Granules black pepper
Salt
Olive oil


2 Potatoes
Dried basil
Salt
Pepper
Spanish paprika
Garlic powder
Olive oil


1.  Preheat oven 225C degrees.
2.  Rub salt and pepper on the steak according to your taste.
3.  Place the steak in baking dish.
4.  You have the option to sear your steak first before baking it.
5.  Scrub and clean the potatoes.
6.  Slice the potatoes.
7.  Put dried basil, salt, pepper, Spanish paprika and garlic powder on your potatoes.
8.  Place it beside your steak.
9.   Drizzle some olive oil on top of your steak and potato (you can also butter)
10. Bake it for 25-30 minutes or depends on your preference. 


After baking it, it’s time to cook gravy sauce using beef steak drippings. If you want the recipe, just click here. An easy to prepare dish for less than P250.



December 08, 2011

5 Benefits of Minimalist Living

I’m trying to practice minimalist living in my life because I love the idea of “living with less but only with the best”.  But I’m not on the extreme side, I consider myself as a simple to moderate minimalists. I talked to a friend before and he said that he only has three shirts, one pants and so forth.  I asked him why? He said he donated all his clothes because he wants to live simple. I love this idea but I know that I cannot live in less than 10 pieces of clothes because I love variations.


I’m not sure if my “Milenyo” experience is the start of my minimalist living but it helped me in downsizing our stuff.  When I was still young I love to collect stuff including my first airline ticket, entrance fee tickets of my travel, membership cards or any cute stuff that has sentimental value which will serve as souvenirs but after our bungalow apartment submerged into chest deep flood everything change.  

We lost almost everything and I bid goodbye to all cards, love letters, magazines, books and stuff that I have collected. That’s when I realized that I can live without it. So when we move out to our own house, we did not have a hard time moving our stuff, everything fits in one truck van. Living in a new home helped me more in simplifying my life.


Minimalist living doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time to embrace the true meaning of it and I’m still in the process. But I want to share five benefits of minimalist living from everyday minimalist.

1. Less stress 

I love the first benefit because stress is not really good for my health. I have a skin condition called psoriasis and stress is not good for psoriasis patient because it triggers our flare up. 

       
How to achieve less stress? 

The answer is living a simple life by cutting back your commitments and downsizing your stuff. Do not say yes to all invitations, parties, and events if you think that is not really necessary. Christmas is a very busy month and I’m sure you have a lot of parties, occasions, and events that you need to attend but do not stress yourself, learn to prioritize.


Minimize your stuff so you have less to take care of. As everyday minimalist say “The less you have and do, the more you will FREE”


2. Less impact on the environment 


Minimalist living is like practicing green living because in some way you are helping the environment. Minimalists tend to buy less and use less. Before, I used to buy stuff if I find it cute or if it is on sale but now I think before I buy.  I always ask myself “Do I really need this?


3. Less money is spent 


Less money is spent because you will buy less and save your money. Saved money can be used for future needs or future wants like travel. Minimalist doesn’t mean you are cheap but it means buying quality items so you can use them for long period of time. Quality items are not always expensive; there are quality items that are affordable.

Do not buy new stuff just because it is “in” or everyone has it and you feel less if you don’t have the latest gadgets, bags and so forth.


4. Less cleaning to do


Being a minimalist is a great help especially for a full-time mom like me who has no helper and nanny. Imagine the stress if I have more stuff and furniture that I have to clean, polish and maintain every day.


5. Less time wasted 


If we learn to simplify, prioritize and organize less time is wasted. We have more time to focus on things which are more valuable and significant.


December is a busy month for me because this is the month when I weed out our closets, I put away our paper bills, I delete some files, email and phone numbers that I will no longer need and let go unnecessary stuff.


How about you, are you a minimalist or not?

December 02, 2011

Lunch at Shakey's

Last Wednesday we went to SM to have our second oral prophylaxis but the dental clinic does not accept HMO card during holiday and weekends. I was shocked because last April we had our oral prophylaxis at the same clinic and it was Saturday. Well, what can I do if they have changed their policy.

Anyway, we went to Shakey’s for early lunch before going home.  It’s been a while since we dine here, Deal one is our favorite order, it includes one pitcher of ice tea, spaghetti platter or 3 pieces of chicken and manager’s choice pizza. We just add mojo’s and dip for my son and rice if we are really hungry.





Knowing my son who always wants to scribble and doodle, he immediately asks for a pen so he can scribble and doodle on the paper mat. Good thing that I always have a pen wherever I go but next time I will write it in their comments and suggestions paper to offer crayons for kids. Other restaurants like Burgoo, Pancake House, and Pizza Hut give crayons or simple game so you have something to do while waiting for your order.


And because my son loves mojo’s and dip, I tried to make potato chips at home but he only ate 1-2 pieces so I finished everything. hehe! I am looking for mojo’s recipe, please share it to me.


December 01, 2011

Our Christmas tree

Exactly 25 days before Christmas we put up our Christmas tree, it is the same tree and decorations that we’ve used last year. I know it’s a little bit late but I really decorate our home few weeks before Christmas because my son always removes the decors and no gifts under the tree until Christmas Eve because my son will open the gifts when I’m not around.






My son was so excited about setting up our Christmas tree; he immediately said “Wow! trees,” (plural talaga) when we remove the pieces from the box.  This time he helped us.
My first post on December and I can’t believe that we only have 24 days left before Christmas and we still do not have a plan where are we going to celebrate.

November 28, 2011

Noel Discovery Bazaar




Doctor was out again last Saturday so instead of going home we went straight to Noel Discovery Bazaar at World Trade Center. This is one thing that I always look forward every Christmas season; I’ve been here for five consecutive years.


I always love bazaar because you can find unique and cheap stuff so your money can go a long way. Surprisingly, at 12 noon the place was not jam-packed so it was not really hard to shop. Aside from clothes and gifts that I have bought, here are the things that I’ve got.



1. White Board + Marker (P100) – I bought this to preoccupy my son while I’m busy doing my thing and this really works. After their (hubby and son) booth hopping for free taste they just sit near the stage and wait till I finish.

2. Cars Puzzle (P40) – the puzzle is too complicated for my son so I ended up finishing the puzzle.

3. Santa Headband (P50) – I want to buy 3 pcs but my husband doesn’t want to wear this on Christmas Eve so I only bought one for my son.

4. Angry Bird Tumbler (P100) – for hot and cold drinks.

5. Passport Holder (165) from Hello Anya – I only bought 2 pieces and this is the reason why I want to go back to Noel Discovery Bazaar because I forgot to buy passport holder for my son (may passport din nga pala siya)  

Entrance fee: P50



Bazaar Schedule 

Noel Discovery Bazaar – December 9-18, 2011 at PICC Forum Tent
                                       December 21-23 at World Trade Center


World Bazaar Festival – December 2-18, 2011 at World Trade Center

Handog Ko, Aklat Mo: A Christmas Book drive

I went to National Bookstore yesterday to buy some gift wrapper, Christmas wrapper and paper bag and when I’m about to pay my stuff, the cashier asked me if I want to purchase books as donations. I didn’t know that National Bookstore has this Christmas book drive since 2006. 

The book is only P69.75; the cashier will give you sticker and tag where you can write your name and put it in the book and Christmas tree, then drop the book in their drop boxes. So if you want to donate some books to public institutions, this is the best way to help them and share your Christmas blessings.

November 26, 2011

What to Wear this Christmas?

Christmas is fast approaching and people are so busy putting up their Christmas tree, finishing their gift list, grocery, and most of all looking for their Christmas outfit. Yes, Christmas outfit is top of our list. We cannot deny that women love to dress up on this special occasion and we all want to be fabulous and glamorous.  Looking for Christmas oufit is difficult but with the help of Gray&Ousbourn online site your life would be easy.


Gray&Ousbourn offers fabulous designer brands so you can never go wrong with their outfit; they have plenty occasiowear for special occasion, holiday, casual wear, smart wear or even party wear. So, if you still do not have an outfit for your Christmas party, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, check their online shop now and be amazed with their large selections.  Some occasionwear are on sale so you can be in style for a fantastic price. Designer occasionwear outfits are available exclusively at Gray & Osbourn.
These outfits make me so excited this Holiday.




November 15, 2011

Isdaan at Tarlac

I’ve seen this floating restaurant on TV few years ago and I’ve been meaning to go here but it is too far from our place so I was thankful when I saw Isdaan on our way to Victoria, Laguna but it is still under construction for almost three years (been there last September 2011). Whenever we go to Pangasinan our stopover is always Hacienda Luisita, this is where we usually eat if we are hungry so Isdaan is really out of way.


Finally, I was able to visit Isdaan in Gerona, Tarlac on our way home from Baguio. You will not miss the place because you will see the big statues of fish. =)




The floating restaurant is really huge so we took our time to tour the place and take some pictures. This is the best place for stopover and break from long drive.









You will see the famous Tacsiyapo Wall where you can vent your anger by throwing and smashing plates, cups, and even television, of course it is not free.



There is also San Kilo Bridge Challenge, where you can take home one kilo of fish if you can cross the bridge without falling.




We ordered half kilo grilled tilapia and rice for our quick meal before braving the traffic and three expressways (SCTEX, NLEX and SLEX). There are also musikeros (musicians) who serenade diners but this is one thing that I really hate, (ayaw ko ng may istorbo pag kumakain ako + you have to give tip pa). Like what I’ve said before, sometimes we have to pay extra for our family picture.



My husband always eats here if he has a business trip in Baguio so I am aware that there is nothing special about the food but I love the ambiance.

November 14, 2011

Day 2 in Baguio

After our La Trinidad Tour (Bell Church, Strawberry Farm, Easter Weaving Tour) and Tam-Awan Village, we passed by Lourdes Grotto but it was really hard to find a parking space so we no longer get off the car.




Then we went to Mines View Area for our last leg of the tour and as expected, Mines View Park is always crowded. Sometimes, we have to pay a minimum fee just to have a family picture. =)


P50 for 4 shots
P10 per shot
 secret of our 24hrs trip, "buhatin ang mababagal maglakad"=)
Next stop is Good Shepherd, Baguio trip won’t be complete without buying our favourite ube jam and drinking my husband favourite juice.





We skipped Botanical Garden and went to Wright Park and The Mansion, it has Christmas decors already.







Last stop is Camp John Hay for our lunch but we did not take our lunch (weird), we’re not hungry yet because we stuffed ourselves in HotelVeniz Grill buffet breakfast. After picture taking we decided to go back to Manila.




 Goodbye for now Baguio!



Belle De Jour 2012 Planner



Thank you Patty Laurel for my Belle De Jour 2012 planner. I’ve got this package a few minutes ago and I was really curious where it came from, signed the form and got my package.

I was excited to know what’s inside and I have to unwrap three plastic wrappers. Then finally, I saw Belle De Jour 2012 planner, I was really jumping and shouting “yehey” and even my son joined me, he also jumped and shouted ” yehey”. 

I did not know that I won the contest but I was really grateful, the last Belle De Jour Planner that I have was a gift from my last Christmas Party at the office. This is the second time that I received a package from the contest that I’ve been joining.

November 11, 2011

Tam-Awan Village

If you are going to Baguio, do not forget to include Tam-Awan Village in your itinerary, it is a place where you can have a glimpse of Cordillera village life and commune with nature. The village has seven Ifugao huts ( Anaba Hut, Bangaan Hut, Batad Hut, Dukligan Hut, Kinakin Hut, and Nagor Hut)and two Kalinga houses (Lukkong Hut and Bugnay Hut). The Ifugao huts are very simple, it has no nails and hardware but it can lasts for many generations.



We do not know how to get there we just ask for directions. There is no signage or guide so sometimes we feel that we’re lost but we just kept on asking for directions, so we’re happy when we reached Tam-Awan Village, we’re not lost. Teee-hee!


Entrance fee: P50 adults, P30 senior citizens and students, P20 kids below 12yrs old
Opening and Closing Hours: 8AM-6PM


Going to each hut is not easy; you have to go up and down and pathway is narrow.



Tam-awan village has café, craft shop and art gallery. There are also artists who can do caricatures, minimum of P100 per head and minimum of P300 per couple. Tam-Awan village is also a venue for workshops and art exhibits. You can also stay in Anaba hut, Love Bug hut, Duklingan Hut, and Lukkong Hut for a minimal fee. I would love to try that on my next trip.







Just in front of Tam-Awan village is the Arko ni Apo, where you can find wood works and metal works of Benhur and Boom Villanueva.