Sunny Sunday at Milky & Sunny, Kapitolyo

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hehe, sorry for the lame post title. Totoo namang sunny e at Sunday din! #explain

Sharing lang ito friends not an actual review. I can't say I want to rave about the place but I will not discourage you either. I mean, this is just my experience. You could have a completely different experience or taste kaya if you're thinking of trying Milky & Sunny I would say today is as good as any day to try it out.

I gravitate toward restos that serves comfort and breakfast food. One of the restos na super binabalik balikan namin ni Jp is really Pancake House. We're easy to please. His is Salisbury Steak while mine is their pan fried chicken. We always (MUST) have their cheese waffle for dessert. Ayan staple na yan samin and we've been in the quest for more breakfast homey restos. While I am at it... Whatever happened to Heaven n' Eggs? That place used to be cool eh?

Oh well, but I digress. Long story short, although I cleaned my plate I don't think we're coming back anytime soon. Okay naman sya, but just okay. Yah know what I mean? It just didn't blow me away. Or maybe we just ordered the wrong food? But anyway, I have a funny story later in the middle so please read on.

After ng Mass, we got super hungry. We were contemplating on going to IHOP but realized it's too far from PICC where we heard Mass. Since we live near Kapitolyo and after me reading some stunning reviews about this resto whilst the hubby was driving we decided to give it a try.

This sign will great you.

And here's me (sans make up - bagong gising effect) and hubby na kakulay ng pader.

Here's the funny story: hubby's order was the big breakfast where you can choose 3 from any of the following - bacon, sausage, hotdog, spam, and corned beef. He wanted sausage sana kaso out of stock daw. So he contemplated on getting the corned beef. I asked ate waitress: "Ate what kind of corned beef do you use?" I mean I don't know what I was expecting right? Well, siguro naisip ko baka homemade or  "Batangas cow po, tapos we make in house" yung tipong ganun. Ate answered: "Yung Purefoods po sa lata." Hehe. She was so honest. I love it. 

K fine. Di ka natawa? Ok lang. Hehe. :P

Anyway moving on. Hubby chose: hotdog, spam, and bacon. The big breakfast platter has hashbrown, egg (choice of sunny side up or scrambled), garlic rice (which you can either have toast or bagel). Cost: P270. I tasted everything on his plate. I love the hashbrown. :-)

I got their Hamonado Longganisa (P130) with garlic rice and egg (again you can either choose scrambled or sunny side up). Their longganisa was delicious! Plus the egg was nice and fluffy.

Sweets. Strawberry Milkshake (P140). Yummy also. Sorry I know I should be more creative in describing this. Hmm... It tastes more like a sherbet than a shake. Which is a good thing actually. Very strawberry tasting.

Strawberry cream cheese pancake (P170). Their pancake is thick and fluffy. Mas fluffy nga sa pancake ng Pancake House. But I can't say that I liked this better. We didn't even finish this. Bihira lang yan ha usually PG kami when it comes to dessert. Naumay ako sa sobrang dami ng heavy strawberry syrup. It would be better if they just use real strawberries.

The service was quite slow. Maybe they were understaffed but there were only a few of us eating that time so I'm not sure why. But I liked the ambiance of the place. I took more photos below. Try it out if you're fond of breakfast food. Skip the pancake and maybe just order the chicken & waffles. :-)

Milky & SunnyPasig

East Capitol DrKapitolyo, Pasig(02) 654-2049

Challenge Completed: Ultimate Wingsanity

Monday, October 7, 2013

This is one proud wife moment. My husband has conquered Ultimate Wingsanity 2.0 challenge! Haha!

Okay I need to give a little back story here. Sorry masyado lang na excite. Hehe. Okay the hubby is obsessed with all things spicy. The hell-hath-no-fury-spiciness level. He likes hurting himself that way. He came across a blog post bragging about conquering the Ultimate Wingsanity challenge by Buffalo Wings n' Things.

So off we trekked to Ortigas home depot so hubby can try apparently the spiciest wings in the metro. Me, I am happy to settle with a basket of fries and the kid-friendly garlic Parmesan wings. Which were yummy by the way. Oh but let me tell you about the evil spicy wings.

The Ultimate Wingsanity wings meal is under the "Waiver Required" section of the menu. You literally have to sign a waiver before you can consume the wings. The flavors Gangnam Style, Total Wingsanity, and Ultimate Wingsanity have a Scoville Heat Unit measurement of 650k, 750k, and 850k, respectively! It is likened to eating one tablespoon of siling labuyo - raw. All spicy evil goodness - if you dare.

The challenge is to consume the Ultimate Wingsanity in five minutes without drinks or ice cream. Once completed you will be given a certificate of recognition. Plus they will put your picture on their 'Wall of Fame'.

Okay so eto na, as a form of motivation I was psyching the hubby: 

Me: Bee, meron sa wall of fame mga babae. Quite a few of them. (Actually isa lang). Tapos bee, meron din dun Grade 6 lang! (In reality I'm not even sure kung Grade 6 sya or maybe payat lang sya at mukhang bata hehe)

Okay so anyway I think it worked because hubby put his game face on and thought of a strategy na. He separated the bones from the meat before starting. This would mean faster consumption and lesser time for the spice to spread in his mouth. Also, he ate the meat part first before the skin which is where the concentration of the hotness is located.

Ang ending: Cool na cool lang si hubby. Akala mo cotton candy lang kinakain e! Haha. Exxag. But really true talaga promise si ate waitress kept exclaiming: "Si sir parang wala lang! Cool na cool lang si sir!"

This further boosted hubby's ego at pinanindigan nya na ang pagiging cool as a cucumber nya. Binuhos pa nya yung mga natirang dripping ng sauce from his plate to ensure na matikmam nya yung todong anghang. Here he is: 

Ayan sya sinisimulan na ang kalbaryo nya.

He separated the meat from the bones and consumed all the white meat first.

Finishing the last few morsels na nakadikit sa bones. Exterior cool na cool. Internally, ayan o, labas na ugat sa noo! Lol.

Ayan! Challenge completed! Pulang pula. 

Kering keri lang daw hee hee.

Here he is getting his picture taken after consuming half a pound of wings with 800,500 Scoville Heat Units! Yey baby!

PS: This New York Cheesecake ice cream is the best! Plus it is perfect for those who just finished consuming the wings from hell. Haha. 

Go na try mo narin!
Buffalo Wings n' Things
Food Street, Ortigas Home Depot, Pasig City

Thoughts on Social Media

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Three people influenced me to write this post. My husband, Topaz Horizon (a blog I frequently read), and a friend in Facebook.

Let me tell you first what each of them thinks before I tell my thoughts around this. Hubby is ever so worried about the culture around Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc and that it perpetuates materialism and vanity and that it might ultimately rub off on our kids as they grow up. He asked me if we should "ban" our kids from creating a facebook account all through out their highschool life? Would this be fair to them? Would this stop some of the possibly negative effects that social media has to influence them? 

Topaz Horizon fears that social media makes you crave for attention. It's like you have to ask people to like you. And how sometimes it affects your self-esteem negatively of nobody "liked" your posts. How it makes you want to beg people to like your choices in food, clothes, travel destination, and so on. Will it make your choices less enjoyable if no one else think that they "like" the food you're eating at the moment?

A friend posted in Facebook said that social media promotes a culture where we all feel like celebrities, "me-attitude", disregarding the opinion of others or even those who are currently in an unfortunate situation. She also states the issue of lack of privacy which used to be treated as a vital aspect of a person's life.

These are only three perspective from three different people. I'm sure you have a say around this topic also and I'm sure  it is equally important. I am not here to address any of the points above. To me all of them made a valid point. But will that stop me from engaging in social media activity? No. This blog alone is a testament that I like to share. For whatever purpose I do so is something I need not make anyone understand. What I do through various social media vehicles is something that I do just because. If you interpret it as being materialistic, boastful, shallow it is up to you. On the otherhand, if it made you smile, say my picture of freshly baked cake or cookie inspired you to bake as well then it's all good.

I have the capacity to always embrace change. I have long accepted that social media has forever changed the dynamics of people's relationship and our culture. My husband's concern is perhaps something that rings closest to my heart because it involves my kids. But you know what regardless of the choices they make, I trust in the kind of person that they are. That regardless on how the world sees their actions deep within I know they will be good people. Social media or not good parenting is still the best tool against any changing times.

Parenting and letting them know God. That in the grand scheme of things we are who we are because of God's love.

I guess my message is that of acceptance. Even if a person shares so many things through social media I still believe that that is merely a tip of who they are so let's not judge and just enjoy the ride. 

Anyway that's what "hide in newsfeed" or "unfollow" feature is for. :-)

Sana Dati: Not a Movie Review

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hi my name is Love. And movie dates for me are composed of eating out at any new resto in town plus seeing a Hollywood blockbuster film or sometimes (super rare) the husband gives in to a Star Cinema formulaic rom-com (konting konti lang yang napanood naming Philippine movie around 3 or 4 and no hindi ako nagpapaka defensive lol).

Anyhoo, wala pa as in wala pa akong napanood na Star Cinema movie na hindi bumaba ang IQ ko after watching it (except OTJ but then again that's not rom-com). No offense (pero alam naman nating ma-o-offend parin ang mga Star Cinema die-hards haha) - oh well. Blog ko to. So shoo. The Mistress tried. Tried but still failed. I mean who the F says those lines in real life? Tapos John Lloyd delivering lines in straight English pero halatang minemorize. Oh shucks. I must shut up. This blog entry is not for those rants. Pero eto na last na talaga. Yang My Amnesia Girl. Pinuno ng Post-It ang buong kwarto. First thing that came to mind was shet sayang sa trees! Stalker ang peg! Sinong maglilinis?! Who the hell has that free time? If that was me hindi ako kikiligin baka nag walk out ako at pabayaran ko sa kanya yung pag papa repaint ng kwarto ko e. LOL 

What I hate is how rom coms screw up real everyday love. That there always has to be grand gestures just to show someone you love them. Na dapat mang-hassle ka ng mga kabarkada mo or people at the airport just so you can have one brave declaration of love. Hindi ka ba mapupulmunya nun pag nagsayaw ka sa ulan?

Love in reality is found in the ordinariness and being able to stand by your decision to exercise constant small acts of kindness no matter how simple they may be. That conflicts and deep hurts are not resolved through one big dramatic confrontation and shouting match. It is through constancy and companionship. Your decision to be steadfast amidst some challenges along the way. 

For Jp and I, love is through the quiet conversations that we have before sleeping on how our day went. It is through marvelling how God has been so good to us. And in sometimes me choosing not to say something anymore because I know it will be hurtful to my husband. Or my husband's patience when I am just about to loose it.

Don't get me wrong. Love is still supposed to be fun. No issue being romantic loveydovey but really why does it have to be glorified in the movies all the time?

So now to my topic. The credits were already rolling. And snoot and silent tears were still pouring like buckets. Never has a movie affected me this much. Not because the actors were in tears urging me to cry with them. It tugged me in a powerful way because of the deeper layer that the movie communicated to my heart. The smallness of the emotions. That emotions are not meant to be found in just poetic loud dramatic confrontations. That love expressed through tentative gestures and open abandon are still equally evocative.

The movie is perfectly cast and acted out. The soundtrack is amazeballs. I shall stop talking about it now because it is quite obvious that I do not know how to do a proper review. But go watch it. This moview is a rarity.

A rarity that we must support to somehow make a statement. That this movie is an art. It hides more than it reveals. But you'll see yourself one way or another through one of the characters. And what it hides and reveals is something really really beautiful.

Celebrations: Sam is 9 months

Monday, September 30, 2013

Exactly 3 months from now Sam will turn 1. Grabe talaga ang first year ng baby. It flies by so fast. Kasi each month is such an adventure. To say they grow up really fast is an understatement.

I am in awe watching my kids grow. It doesn't matter that Sam is already my second. Everything still feels like the first time. Different child different adventure believe me.

I feel guilty that I haven't written much about Sam in this little blog that I have. Oh but let me tell you, I fell in love (so deep) with this little baby. She is such an absolute joy. A happy baby so easily contended.

Really. She's the easiest, happiest, and sweetest baby there is. Never naging maselan. She's breastfed and now she eats anything we give her. Veggies, fruits, bread, anything. My MIL said try daw namin pakainin next week ng alimango kung hindi parin tatanggi. Haha. I bet you she'll eat those as well.

She adores her kuya so much and follows him around wherever he goes. To her kuya Eli is the most interesting person there is. Even more interesting than dad or mom. Her eyes are always fixed at kuya and she tries to imitate mostly what kuya is doing. Kaya ang drama nila ngayon is agawan ng toys hehe.

For Sam's 9th month birthday, kiddie party ang peg ng handa ko: spaghetti bolognese, pork bbq, my famous moist chocolate cake, and mama's sumptuous caldereta. 

Here are some pictures of Sam's 9th month celebration.

The Cake. This is my go-to chocolate cake recipe that does not use egg. The frosting is buttercream with cocoa powder with whipped cream (to make it light and less sweet - recipe from my bestfriend Joy). It tastes much better than it looks promise.

The spaghetti and bbq.

Here we are with Sammy baby. She so precious. We just love her so much. :-)

Ain't she the cutest? :-)

No Such Thing As Supermom

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Or superkids either.

Grabe ka competitive ang buhay ngayon. There's natural parenting. Homeschooling. Breastfeeding beyond 2yo. Baby wearing. Cloth diapering. Madami pa actually. Sometimes I think some parenting police is out to get me because there are days when I let Eli watch something as mundane and nonsense as Spongebob. When I let Sammy eat ice cream. When the kids stay up too late. Etc. etc.

Any moment now I feel the judging stares of the supermoms out there. And then it hit me. Sino ba ang perpektong magulang?

At our core (struggling good parents I mean) we all just want the same basic things for our children. That they find contentment on the kind of person that they chose to be.

I cannot promise to raise the most talented or smartest kids there are. However, I promise to love them unconditionally and accept them for who they are. Super cliche ba? Yes well, I just need to remind myself that.

Hindi importante kung ako ba ang pinaka magaling na nanay there is. Hindi importante na una sa lahat ng bagay ang mga anak ko. But when it comes to compassion, becoming a positive person and self-reliant while respecting others dyan sila mgangunguna.

Dito ako masaya sa pagiging imperfect kong nanay. Because everyday I am learning. Everyday there's a sense of wonder. And everyday I am ever so thankful that hubby and I were blessed with the children that we have.


Yedang: underrated and awesome

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I have become lazy. So lazy that I cannot even get up from my bed and type on my laptop anymore. Smartphones and tablets further perpetuated this cycle of sloth (wake up, check fone, feel sleepy, sleep, repeat step 1).

Anyhoo, why am I blogging again? 2 reasons completely unrrelated.

1) A friend asked me via facebook why I wasn't blogging anymore. And my thought bubble was like: "Really? Someone reads my blog?" So now I am sure I have 3 readership ha! (Hello husband, sister, and friend. Hee hee) Sure it is fun to write. But knowing that someone reads my nonsensical thoughts gives me "kilig" to no end. Lols.

2) I realized I can blog using my iPhone. That means no need to get up from the bed anymore just to blog. Yey! What did I tell you? Lazy. Lazy. Lazy.

With that I officially end my blogging break. Fireworks. None? K. Fine. :-)

So last Friday was a special day because it was Kyle's 1st birthday (my friend Mae's baby boy). We spent the afternoon with the kids at Virlanie foundation. I baked about ten thousand chocolate cupcakes see below (of course I exaggerate  haha it was around 50pcs). 

I gained raving fans again for my heavenly cupcakes (I like to toot my own horn - obviously). But seriously, though my chocolate cupcakes have some kind of a cult following already. By cult I mean a group of random kids somewhere across the metro raving that my cupcakes are the best they've tasted. Haha!

Okay, so where was I? It was a super fun and tiring day. So the hubby and I decided to go on a date. I suggested Yedang because it's been a long time since we last ate there. For me it is one of the most underrated but good resto around town. And cheap too. Also, I think another reason why their meat tastes good after cooking is that they use good old uling. For some reason mas masarap ang bbq na cooked through charcoal kesa electric grills. Agree? Tapos you can bet that is authentic because its owner is Korean.

But again the food. The food and service are both excellent. Each table has its own exhaust (para di ka amoy bbq after heehee). Let me show you pictures.

Free appetizers. (Dito palang solve na ehehe)

This was my favorite among the 8 or 9 free appetizers which was served. This, and the kimchi of course. ;-)

Someone will assist you in cooking the meat. 

Once cooked you wrap the meat in a lettuce (it was fresh and crisp) put some chilli sauce and spiced olive oil some onions and garlic then, viola! One of the most enjoyable food I've ever eaten. (I mean you know you're eating meat but then again it is wrapped in lettuce so that kind of takes away the guilt right? Right?)

And this OMG. Their beef soup. Is. To. Die. For.

Yey, and there's a free pineapple for dessert.

Our meal was around P900 only. Sulit. Plus I loved their pandan water. 

Yedang Korean BBQ Restaurant
88 Meralco Ave., Pasig City
telephone: 636-1461

PS: Sorry for the poor quality of pictures. Or maybe not. I'm not sure whether they are okay or awful.  I want to put a #nofilter on every photo just to explain haha. I am still a bit rusty trying out this blogging thing from my phone. Cheers. Till my next post! :-)

Samuelle's Baptismal Day Kwento and Supplier's Feedback

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

In my past life I used to be a blogger. I used to be able to share my feeling openly as I did here, and share random stuff much like here, or maybe even make someone laugh by sharing mundane stuff like here.

But I have become too preoccupied with life, a toddler, the baby, breastfeeding, and being a wife to ever have time to sit down and chatter away. I find that sad though as writing used to be such an outlet for me. And not being able to write could be a sign of a tired and weary soul. Or maybe just pure laziness or whatever.

Looking back, the ever highly popular posts are stories about the parties I've organized for my baby boy. His rockstar themed party here, and the all time high in traffic count would be his Jollibee kiddie party (click here to read that). I'd like to believe I am helping a mom or two out there looking for some ideas and feedback for a supplier that they are thinking of getting. I should know, because I spent my first post partum days lurking at so many mommy blogs reading away their stories about their own events.

It's a bonus factor too that I can easily just look back and read my entry and be reminded of how lovely the day was. And that is what March 10, 2013 was all about. Love. Love overflowing.

Let me tell you about the day through pictures. Also, I'll try to be as detailed as I can to help out mommies out there trying to research about the suppliers below.

1) Newborn Photography: Nice Print

Got this via ensogo deal. Package I think is originally 4k but only paid about 1.5k. It includes numerous prints. There was even one large print with frame. They also gave us all the soft copies on the spot and the edited pictures three days later. Eli our first born had his newborn pictures taken by Stork Studio. I can tell you now that there's a difference given that newborn photography naman talaga ang specialty ng Stork Studio. Truly, there's a reason why almost triple the price ang Stork Studio. So for me, to compare Nice Print sa Stork Studio would be unfair. Ibang league sila e. Although, I am fairly satisfied naman with Nice Print. I did not expect ng sobrang bongga and I got what I paid for. Plus, cute naman si baby so carry na. Haha! So advice lang, if gusto nyo talaga ng truly bongga and willing naman mag shell out ng extra bucks go for Stork Studio. However, if you just want a simple picture, no frills, with decent editing and prints okay na ang Nice Print.

2) Baptismal Ceremony Venue: Sta. Clara de Montefalco

Initially I was having reservations if I will book this church because they do not offer special baptism. I tried and tried to convince the persons on the booking department to allow us to have a special baptism but di gumana ang aking convincing powers. I really wanted to have the baptism at this church because this is our parish church, this is where we hear mass every Sunday, plus it's only 5 minutes away from our condo's clubhouse where we will have our reception. So goodbye na sa kaartehan and we decided to just book to have our baptismal rites here. The seminar started at around 10:10am and ended an hour after. It was held sa basement ng simbahan. Super init! So make sure you bring pamaypay, or electric fan kung carry nyo haha. After that, the baptismal rites were held na at the actual church. Although there were 19 babies na bibinyagan (ang dami!), the entire service did not last very long. The cost is just very minimal (sorry I forgot na how much) and I liked that there was a free white over garment na and candles for the parents and godparents. The candles are huge ha. So overall I am quite happy we decided to have the ceremony here instead. For one, di na kami lumayo and the church was lovely. See below.

3) Reception Venue: Riverfront Residences Clubhouse Function Hall

No brainer ang decision na ito because for one we live here hehe. It was so convenient for us to choose this as our venue. I decided against this being our venue for Eli's rockstar party because I figured it is hard to dress up the venue to suit the theme. However now, since it is just a baptism party theres not much tweaking needed for the venue. The function hall is quite spacious, has a lot of natural light, and cozy enough to make our guests feel comfortable. Super sakto lang sya for the occasion and our number of guests (about 120). Anything more than 150 siguro would be masikip na. There might be a different cost if you are not a resident. If you are considering this to be your venue, just call our PMO to inquire. I did not even dress up the venue anymore but overall it still looked great. :)

3) Catering: Verleo

One's food provider will make or break an event. That's why super na OC ako sa paghahanap ng caterer with good feedback but is still affordable. There were many positive feedbacks kay Verleo so I decided to give them a try. I had my menu custom made: Japanese fried rice, Korean chapchae, ox tongue steak, fish fillet with asparagus & XO sauce, mixed vegetables, sushi bar, and a halo halo station. For the kids: baked spaghetti, chicken lollipops, and plain rice. I shall not reveal the price however, I can tell you now that it was very, very reasonable. Tasted the food myself  (liked the rice, chapchae, and baked spag the most) and also based sa feedback ng guests they told me that the food was great. Although for me the mixed vegetables was a bit bland so I suggest get another viand for your veggies instead. We also bought additional food: laing and lechon. There was no corkage fee. The waiters (especially the head waiter) were very attentive to the guests needs. Also ang galing nila ha, imagine I only paid for 100 heads and more than 130 guests came (wala ng nag a-R-SVP iilan lang! okay, moving on. happy naman talaga ako that many people came) plus the crew pa of my other suppliers and everyone was still able to eat. There were some leftovers pa which they packed. They rightfully deserve the positive buzz they are getting. Kudos Verleo! (Tip lang: wag mag rely sa RSVP, in our case kahit in the end may leftovers pa medyo stress parin na baka maubusan ng food. In my opinion, mas okay na sobra kesa kulang. Buti nalang we had jumbo lechon and laing. If not for those baka nagkulang na food. You can also bring extra 1.5 softdrinks which they will serve on top of the ones that is included sa package. Bumili kme ng extra cases of variety of softdrinks kaso we forgot ibaba sa kotse. Fail. Amp! Hehe.)

4) Souvenirs for godparents: St. Paul's

I decided to buy simple trinklets for the godparents. I gave crystal rosaries for ninangs, and 3D Mother Mary frame for the ninongs. Just a little something to let them know that we truly appreciate them for being part of our lives. The wrapping was lovingly made by yours truly. #andamingoras :D

5) Souvenirs for guests: Flowers of Hope for Jewelyn

I decided to get my souvenir from tatay Rolando after reading mommy Neva's blog post. This made the souvenirs extra special in my opinion. Read up about Jewelyn and I hope her story will inspire you as well.

6) Mobile Studio: Picture!

Ayan masyadong direct to the point ang kanilang company name: Picture! Mobile Studio. Hehe. We originally booked another supplier for our photobooth. However, we attended a friend's wedding last Feb 09. Kakaiba ang set up may kama at higa higa factor. Also we liked the quality of the printed pictures (walang pores!). After much consideration (and me pleading to the husband na pumayag sya), I decided to blow off the deposit I originally made for another photobooth and book these guys instead. I made the right call! :D Effort naman talaga, imagine they brought so many props (bed, crib, a granny chair plus many more). And in fairness it was something fairly new. Every party I've been to has photobooth na (medyo may umay factor na ng slight: sorry no offense meant). I'm sure mauuso na rin itong mobile studio eventually so I'm happy our guests got to experience it while medyo bago-bago pa sya. I highly recommend them super for a different kind of experience. Charina is very professional and easy to talk to. She's very receptive of my ideas and suggestions while giving also her expert opinion. They really captured the look I was going for based on the peg that I sent them. Good job to this team!

7) Candy Buffet: SweetyKs

Tita Kate made Sam's candy buffet. It was so lovingly made. The details were quite awesome. She followed my color scheme to a T. Everyone kept coming back for the sweet stuff. Kate is just starting with her business but I am sure she will go a long way judging by how great she delivered during Sam's baptism.

8) Sound System: Bluehive Lights and Sounds

I realized I had no picture of these guys. Very reasonable price. Equipments and song selections were up to date. Jason was a little bit missing in action the day before as he failed to reply to my texts. Understandable naman because they had an event pala the night before. Medyo makulit lang talaga ako when it comes to reminding my suppliers. I suggest there's no harm in triple checking your suppliers (it pays to be OC and makulit).

9) Cake: Estrel's Caramel Cakes

This cake was ninong Keith and tita Cookie's gift to Sammy. Estrel's happens to be one of my favorite cakes in the whole wide world. It's not so sweet. For me eto ang parang J.Co ng cakes hehe. Yun nga lang they only do pre-order and pick up. During holidays (Christmas, Mother's Day, etc.) I suggest order at least a week or two in advance. Sometimes they don't accept orders na pag sobrang dami na ang naka order plus always busy ang kanilang phonelines (sila na ang mabenta). Notice nyo rin sa ASAP tuwing meron artistang may birthday sure yun meron Estrel's. Tee hee. Sila na! :)

9) 2nd Cake: 16th Heaven

Our second cake is also a gift, this time from tita Yeda. She makes delicious, beautiful, and most importantly affordable theme cakes. Check out her FB site.

10) Invitations and Thank You Card:

Initially I contacted SirioPrints because they were the ones that printed Eli's invitations before. It is so easy to transact with them. When I texted the number of SirioPrints I have, they said na Storybook.Ph na sila. Eto subok ko na talaga to. Even though, they are a bit more expensive than other suppliers I canvassed I decided to go for them kasi konti lang naman difference plus sure ko na di glossy yung paper na gagamitin nila. The paper is sturdy. Printing quality is great also. All communication was done via email lang, so very convenient.

11) Co-organizers, ushers, hosts, etc.: Team Sammy

To get rid of my initial post partum blues, I immersed myself in planning Sam's baptismal party. I gave birth Dec 29 and by 2nd week of January I have booked almost all my suppliers already (excited much). Last minute into the preparation, I realized I wanted it to be more organized as in with seating arrangement, programs, the works. Everything would not be as smooth if not for my friend Dianne, Kate, and the friends of my sister (they call themselves Magic4, artista ata sila. chos). Ninong Keith and tita Cookie were the hosts. Ethel was in charge of our reception. Tin and Cha were the ushers, and they were also in charge of the mobile studio and buffet queuing. Kate, aside from supplying the candy buffet, was also overseeing the set up. Dianne was in charge of the overall program and the details that I might have overlooked. Love ko sila, they really helped a lot.

Tip: It really pays to be OC. Hire trusted suppliers. Read up feedback from blogs, forums, etc. Be very clear what you want out of your suppliers. I decided to print coloring pages for the kids so they have something to do as it could get pretty boring for them. Kahit masakit sa ulo it pays to have a general seating arrangement so that hindi magulo for the guests. Lastly and most importantly, be nice to your providers especially the waiters. If you asikaso them they will asikaso your guests back. I ordered Jollibee breakfast for them since 7:30am pang nag se-set up na sila for our lunch reception. Make sure you have extra water/beverages for them. Give them tips if they did a good job.

I am happy with how everything turned out. We are super touched by everyone who came. Until now more than a week after I can't help but still smile when I look back.

Welcome to the Christian world to our dear Sammy! We love you very very much our sweet sweet baby. :)

Just wanted to say...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

that you Jp, are the love of my life. Nothing in this world can ever change that. Take comfort in knowing that in this lifetime you have been truly and honestly loved. Thank you for  choosing to forgive me during times I should have said sorry first but I didn't. Thank you for embracing me tighter during times you realized you have married an imperfect woman filled with insecurities and fears.

May you never forget how much we make each other laugh. May we never let complacency make our relationship dull. Most importantly may we never ever make pride get the best of us.

What a beautiful life we have for together we are complete.

This day, I realized I should always strive to be kinder to you more than to anyone else. And if sometimes I fail, please love me and I'll realize it soon enough, I promise.

Loving you is as natural as everyday. And there is nothing in this world that I look forward to than spending the rest of my days with you.

Your wife,

Guest Post: Why you should consider investing first, then work on that business idea next

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Below is my husband's second installment on his series of entries on personal finance. I tell you, I have never seen anyone as passionate as him when it comes to spreading the benefits of investing and securing one's future. He says it's his personal advocacy. He gets nothing out of it but he takes pleasure in knowing that he can possibly influence at least one person out there to be more financially savvy. We are not yet 100% financially secure but I must say our family is on our way there by having my husband as our leader. I admire his tenacity and passion beyond words. And I am willing to follow him to the ends of the world (insert cheesy Valentines song here haha). Okay enough of my nonsense and let's get on with pure logic and genius. Go ahead, I promise it will be worth you time.

Note: to read his first entry on stock investing click here.

Guest Post:

Pursuing a side income entails a lot of time and effort.  Of course capital is also needed, but if you have a regular job then that should no longer be an issue.  Anyway, I know of one which only entails time.  That is by investing.  But more on that later.

As you may have known already, side income can be obtained ultimately in three ways

  • Working extra
  • Putting up a business
  • Investing

By working extra, you can work overtime, put up an online store, get into real estate and connect buyers to sellers, provide service to others, etc.  What is common among these examples is that the extra income comes only if you provide extra time and extra effort.

By putting up a business, you painstakingly setup, fine-tune, and run a system of business processes.  After some time, even if you do not provide extra time and effort, the side income still comes.  That is because after all the initial hard work you have done to set the business up, it is now self-sustaining.  

By investing, you only need a capital.  You only need to set aside a portion of your income and put that portion in an investment vehicle.

Now here is the kicker: which one among the three above-mentioned items can you setup right away with the least amount of effort?  If today is a Friday, which one can have you all set by Monday?

Say you decide to put up an online store.  You will have to setup the website, procure the items that you will sell, and market your product.  That’s it and you are done.  But afterwards, you will still have to spend extra time and exert extra effort in dealing with buyer queries, settlement of payments, and logistics solutions to deliver your product.  There is a constant additional time and effort involved.

Setting up a self-sustaining business is similar to the example above, but on a much grander scale. It will entail a lot of toil initially, but if you stick to it and put your focus on it, the harvest will be abundant.  It will run and sell itself on its own even with only minimal supervision.  I think only a select few people who are gifted with business savvy or are gifted with good selling skills can pull this through.   

Investing is easier.  You will just have to go to an investment company, fill out a form, submit the filled-out form with the requirements, and then deposit the initial investment.  That’s it.  No extra work after that.  You will just need to wait it out and monitor your investments every once in a while.

Working extra or putting up a business requires a lot of selling while investing requires no selling but a lot of time.  According to one newsletter from my subscription to Bo Sanchez' Truly Rich Club (link here), investing will make you richer later (like in ten years), but selling will make you richer sooner than later (five years).

In my opinion, you can get started now with investing.  Like, RIGHT ABOUT NOW.  It is the basic-level in securing your future.  Can you set-up a business as fast as that?  I hope you won't, as you need to carefully plan it.

Running a business is intermediate level.  So I think it is important to first have the basics in place.  Getting an insurance is a form of investment.  You can also invest in the stock market (How?  Click here).  With that already set-up, that is when you can think of other ways how to earn by working on that business idea you may have been cultivating in your mind all this time.  

Lessons on Breastfeeding

Friday, January 18, 2013

I have a draft on how I celebrated my 31st birthday. But who really cares about a 30 something mother turning another year older right? So it's still in my drafts. Let me just tell you that I love birthdays. I love celebrations. Heck, I love anything that would allow me to celebrate. But just to sum it all up. I am happy that it was my birthday and I am glad I was able to celebrate it with the people that truly matters to me.

So let me just talk about what I have been up to lately -- I gave birth! To a beautiful, perfect, sweet, little baby girl we named Sam. Oh she is such a sweetheart. And so I am spending about 70% of my day now breastfeeding her. And since my newsfeed (in facebook) is now filled with friends who just gave birth or who are just about to, I decided to do this piece instead.

I just thought it would be nice to share my thoughts on this as I have done here (<--click) initially. Being a second time breasfteeding mama, I am more mature now. There's less drama this time. You will not believe how such of a drama queen I was during the first time. I even called my Pedia, weeping in the middle of the night.

Which brings me to now. Doing this for the second time, I will definitely not declare that I am an expert on this. I am not a formula hater as well. I will never look down on a mom who decided to bottle feed their kids. Nor will I declare that breastfeeding is for everyone. It is still your body, your life, and your child. Ultimately, you will know what will be best for your kids. Let no one take that feeling away from you.

So who am I? I am just a mother who is very, very determined to breastfeed her children. I will not enumerate the health benefits of breastfeeding anymore plus all other numerous advantages (I mean it's free, is there anything cheaper than that?!). I am here to tell you the things that helped me stay committed to my decision.

1) Breastfeeding is something you learn. I took all three breastfeeding classes offered by Medela Moms. I bought books, browsed the internet, read tons of mommy blogs for inspiration, attended a La Leche League meeting, even went to the classes offered by The Medical City. The more you know the less likely you will give up when you hit a roadblock.

2) Arm yourself with the right tools. As it will hurt (extremely - for me at least) during the first week, get a good nipple cream. I used Lansinoh. I also bought Avent Breast Shells. Good pairs of nursing bras. A nursing cover so you can continue to breastfeed even if you have visitors. That's basically all there is to it. (Note - especially to first time moms: try to limit your visitors in the hospital. As you are still trying to learn the ropes of breastfeeding and you might be more self conscious ask your well meaning friends to visit you about two weeks after giving birth already so you're sure you've already mastered breastfeeding by that time.)

3) Educate everyone that is close to you on your decision. Get their support and buy in. The last thing you need is a voice discouraging you. Although, since it is not a perfect world you will always have people telling you things you do not need to hear. During these times, just smile and ask them to get you a glass of water. :)

4) DO NOT BUY FEEDING BOTTLES (yet). Lest you be tempted, stay away from these until you are a few weeks away from returning to work.

5) Don't be insecure with your milk supply. Size does not matter. Never compare yourself to other moms. Keep telling yourself that you have more than enough for your baby.

6) Just to reiterate. It will hurt. I just squeeze and break my husbands fingers whenever it hurts extremely  to just release some of the anger 'energy'. Do believe that in a few days it will go away. (Also, this would be a good time to go back and read all the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding just to push yourself. 90% of the time it hurts because of an incorrect latch. So have the patience to teach yourself and the new baby the proper technique. In a few days, it's going to be smooth sailing believe me.)

7) Do not forget yourself. Eat! (Breastfeeding moms burn approximately 500 calories just by breastfeeding). By eat, meaning a proper balanced nutrition. Drink plenty of fluids. I was eating plenty of galactagouges (foods that help increase milk supply) like oatmeal, halaan, warm soup, malunggay leaves, and the like. Oh, and also indulge every now then (go eat that sundae you've been craving). :)

8) Breastfeed on demand. Nurse as frequently as you can. Both Eli and Sammy are forever attached to me during their first weeks. It's okay. They like to nurse for plenty of reasons and it's NOT because they are not getting enough.

9) Finally, so you can also get that much needed sleep during the night: master the side lying feeding position. :) Believe me, this will save your life!

Okay what else? I am pretty sure there might be a couple of things I might be forgetting but those above are pretty much the most important things that I can remember. Oh, and here are the sites that I frequent to the most: Kellymom, Dr. Sears, La Leche League International. Also some blogs: Chronicles of a Nursing Mom and The Leaky Boob. And there's plenty more, numerous forums and website all dedicated to this. Just have the patience and determination to stick by with your decision. And hey, take it one day at a time to enjoy this period of your life to the fullest.

Cheers mommies!

My 31st filled with my favorite things

Thursday, January 17, 2013

**Found this lying on my drafts. Now I could never remember why I did not bother publishing this. Oh well, here we go. This is more than 8 moths delayed though. But the message of the post still counts. :-)**

This post is a week old delayed. I lost my mojo in blogging. Somehow sharing my nonsensical thoughts didn't have as much appeal as it had a few months back. Too bad because 2012 was a pretty impressive year for me. A lot of ups and downs. Hard decisions, sudden changes, weight loss journey, some welcome surprises, and abundance of blessing. I wish I was not as lazy as I was in documenting my year because it was a pretty fun year for me and my little family.

But enough about that. So, I turned 31 last Friday. I am repeating that number in my head right now and it is not making any sense. I mean it is just a number. Same old me. In my head I am forever stuck at the age of 19. I am the same forever giddy, excitable, highly emotional same old me. 

Physically, I like the look of the older me. That and plus I like the fact that my favorite things in life still has not changed. The smell of a newly opened paperback. The smell of leaves when it's raining. The look in my husband's eyes when I cooked something. And now add the laughter of my children. Family. Still nothing beats the love of a family. That is perhaps the reason why I shall remain forever young.

So speaking of birthdays, I went that morning in the office to surprise a teammate. I gave him a pillow (because he loves to sleep and I have scolded him several times for sleeping hehe - hello Lei, I miss you to bits). Only to be surprised back by my team with a chockfull box of baking supplies! I immediately used them the very next day! Thank you guys that was so sweet.

And then I went home to prepare for my simple birthday dinner which I filled with all my favorite foods.

Maki, Sushi, Sashimi platter (I still believe I am a Japanese at heart)

Sabroso Lechon

World's Best Laing (by me - self proclaimed)

Pancit Canton (because no birthday is complete without)

Nathaniel's Buco Pandan (simply because it is THE BEST buco pandan there is)

I was supposed to get Estrel's cake but they are closed from Jan 1 - 16 (what gives?!). So we settled for Quatro Leche by Cake to Go. (Thank you sister!)

My lovely guests. My heart soars because I just love them very much.

That's all there is to it. Baking. Food. Family. Laughter. I am a very contented 19 year old. :D