April 2012 Monthly Roundup

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
- Key of Valor by Nora Roberts
- I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
- A few parts of Fifty Shades of Grey (didn't like it so didn't bother to finish reading it)
- Currently re-reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

What movies and/or TV shows did I watch this month?
- Princess Protection Program
- Lemonade Mouth

What special days did I celebrate and how?
- FIL's birthday
- Easter Sunday
- Austin's 7th Birthday
- Reunion with Adrales cousins
- Family Day at my sister's office

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
- Ipad case for FIL
- A toy for Austin

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
- I had sore eyes and sore throat after our trip to Bicol
- Andie had diarrhea, fever and cough
- Alex had cough and colds

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
- Celebrated FIL's birthday at CWC, Bicol
- Stayed in Bicol during the Holy Week (explored Paguiriran Island, Mateo's Hot & Cold Springs, Legazpi City)
- Went to Fontana for my sister's family day at work
- Went to Singapore with inlaws

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
- Red Platter, Naga City
- DJC's Halohalo
- Buffet at the Airport Hotel in Legazpi City
- Tried Balamban Liempo this month
- Fontana
- Kenny Rogers' breakfast
- Relik

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
- No big purchases this month

What were this month's disappointments?
- Except for the sore eyes and sore throat, everything went well this month ♥

What were my accomplishments this month?
- Two FREE travels this month. We are blessed!

Our Mexican Dinner Date at Achiote Taqueria

After watching a movie, The Vow, a couple of weeks ago, Hubby and I decided to have dinner at Achiote first before going home. I heard from a friend that the food here is good so we looked forward to having a good Mexican dinner.

Since it was our first time, we ordered their best sellers... We had Achiote Sizzle - Chili Colorado for starters.

It was really tasty but too heavy as an appetizer.

For our main meal, we had Achiote Burrito.

Grilled achiote chicken, cachete Wagyu, chorizo brown rice, refried beans, achiote salsa, pico de gallo, cheddar cheese mix, sour cream and lettuce.

Now, I'm starving just thinking about it! It was good.

As soon as we came in the restaurant, I instantly loved the look of Achiote.

But the longer we stayed, we realized that it was too noisy. If you want to eat in peace, better get the table outside. We will probably go back but not in the next few months.

Achiote Taqueria is located at G/F, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati City. For reservations you may call (0915) 922-9336.

Trying Out Chicken Charlie

A couple of weeks ago, we were looking for a restaurant in Banaue. Since we don't usually go to this place, we wanted to eat where we haven't tried it yet. We decided to try Chicken Charlie for the first time.

I knew that Chicken Charlie came to Manila even before Bonchon and I've read that they have the same taste and flavor. We decided to order the drumstick and wing combo.

Our verdict? Well, personally I didn't like it that much. The breading was too thick. It was tasty, but the chicken meat was too bland, it wasn't compensated.

The kids love it though and enjoyed our dinner at Chicken Charlie. So maybe we'll give this another try one of these days.

Dreaming of a Nice Backyard

Remember this?

I know I've posted about our mini garden a couple of years ago. To be exact, this photo was taken 4 years ago. Now, I'm dreaming of a bigger garden and a bigger space for the kids to roam around.

Hubby and I are talking about our dream house. There would be a lot of space for the kids to roam around and play. Even if they won't be kids anymore by that time that we have our dream house, they could still invite their friends and probably have BBQ or something.

This talking about dream houses made it stronger when we discovered temecula synthetic turf. It's amazing now that you can actually install the highest quality artificial grass for putting greens, pet turf, landscape turf and athletic field turf. With this, maintenance won't be that hard and expensive. The Install It Direct made this possible. Based on the testimonials provided in the website, their clients are very much happy with the installations done by Install It Direct.

Now, we're getting more and more excited about our dream house. We'll just have to work hard to save and even pray that this will become a reality someday.

Summer Art Classes

My little girls are enjoying their summer vacation by just staying at home. I wanted them to take a rest because I know that when the school year starts again, they would be busy studying! But when I saw this ad from Momcenter, I can't help but think of enrolling my girls since they are into art.

Sizzling Carribean Adventure Art Classes
Date: 7th May 2012 to 18th May 2012
Join KidzArt for FUN, creative, and all NEW art projects. Inclusive of artist quality materials. Enrollment is on going
Venue: 3F 500 Shaw Zentrum, Shaw Blvd, Mand. City
Tel: 9259950

I will definitely talk to my little girl and see if she's interested!

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Dinner at Relik
2. Coffee!
3. Family Day at Fontana!
4. Breakfast at Kenny Rogers
5. Andie is getting better
6. Work, Office and Aircon
7. Exercise!
8. Ordered our Christmas 2011 PB
9. Online tasks
10. Kids :)

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.

My Little Girls at Austin's Angry Birds Party

Another highlight of our April (2012) is Austin's 7th birthday party! And guess what was his birthday theme? Angry Birds! My girls were ecstatic!

The centerpieces were made by Austin's Mom, Apple.

Good thing we arrived before the party started.

I was a little tired from our trip to Bicol so I wasn't into the games that much. My kids were on their own this time and I was surprised that they got lots of prizes!

The star of the party (aside from Austin of course) came after our snacks. An angry bird!!

The food was great and the kids had so much fun at the party. Thanks again Austin for having us! (*wink*)

Coupons for the Gadget Freaks

I'm a gadget freak myself so I felt giddy when I saw these jr.com coupons over the weekend. J&R brings the best coupons in electronics, computers and they can assure you that they are the people that you can trust. From their stores in Downtown New York City, J&R has been providing customers with a combination of price, selection, security, and service for over 30 years. I haven't been shopping for months now because I've been saving up for several trips but since Father's day is just around the corner, I can probably pull off a gadget for the Dada. Good thing coupons are available at JR.com, at least I can save plus buying a great gift for the Hubby is possible.

The Best of Modern Motherhood at Expo Mom

There's another Expo Mom coming soon! EXPO MOM 2012 is happening on May 5 & 6, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 8pm at the Rockwell Tent.

This is a celebration of Modern Motherhood! Here are more details...

What is modern motherhood? Or more interestingly, what is a modern mom? What defines her? What does she value? What sets her apart from mothers that came before her?

Modern moms are active, empowered parents, We've come up with a list of modern mom personas as we try to encapsulate in simplified terms what a modern mom is. Do you see yourself in any of these modern mom personas?

Are you a FIT MOM?
The modern mom is health conscious, she wants to be in the best shape possible, not only so she can care for her family better but also for herself, so that she is physically able to live better, reach her goals and dreams, and bec she values herself.

Are you a TECH MOM?
We must admit, she's the most "prevalent" type of our modern mom personas. She loves technology and gadgets, and uses these to enhance her life. She takes advantage of technology to allow her to maximize her time, she uses it to be in touch, she uses it to fulfill multiple roles with the least effort and least time. And she uses it to be in the know.

The sling wearing mom-of-today is a sight to behold. She carries her baby wherever she goes, with confidence and with ease. She chooses to babywear not only for the convenience but also because she believes in the benefits of attachment parenting.
So what type of modern mom are you? Actually there's probably a bit of each modern mom persona in each of us, and no matter what it's just great (and fun!) to know what type we are and realize that in the end, we are all just trying to be the best moms we can possibly be for our kids!

Visit their Facebook page and find out what the other different modern mom personas are. Here's the link: www.facebook.com/mommymundo

Expo Mom 2012 is co-presented by Shop Mommy Matters, Philippine Association of Childbirth Educators (PACE), GlaxoSmithKline, Anmum, Sweet Baby Diapers and Goldilocks. Sponsors include CordLife Philippines, Cycles Mild Detergent, Cradles, Samsung, Havaianas.

My Kids at Margaux's 7th Birthday Party

One of the highlights of our April (2012) was Margaux's 7th birthday. My kids were very much looking forward to it and when it finally was the day of Margaux's party, they can't wait to go.

The party was on a Saturday so the traffic was not too bad going to Blue Leaf Pavillion at The Fort. So we arrived at the party on TIME! Woot!

We were greeted by the beautiful stage and nice balloon setup.

While the kids were lining up for the mini salon, we checked out the party and saw the yummy candy buffet.

Other food carts are starbucks, Jimini Pizza and yummy ice cream. Food was also good and so are the games, program, the Jives and the band. ♥

Thanks for having us again, Margaux! It was a great party and we all had a blast!

Best Desserts to Try This Summer

The best thing about summer is getting to bring out a whole batch of new desert recipes! Summer's deserts are a change-up from year-round staples like chocolate cake. Online cupcake blogs make it possible to make new variations of your favorites that bring cupcakes into season. Cool twists on tarts are a nice change in temperature for those who love ice box treats on a hot summer day. Also, summer desserts are all about the fruit. Citrus and berries are seasonal favorites, in silky refrigerated tarts and summery cupcakes. The new varieties in taste and texture are as refreshing as a cold drink of lemonade.

Summer Cupcakes

I have a real soft spot for cupcakes. Just because summer rolls around, doesn't mean you have to put aside these year- round favorites. The Cupcake Bakeshop by Chockylit blog featured on Cupcake Blogs posted a few unique summer cupcake recipes that I can't wait to try! The lemon cupcakes are some of the quirkiest variations of summer. Hollow out the inside of a few Meyer lemons, make a cupcake filling using the hollowed out lemon pulp and refill the hollowed-out peels with delicious cupcake filling. The recipe is topped with light, fluffy meringue. This recipe could turn out like little lemon pies. I bet it would be great refrigerated!

Fruity Delights

“Coastal Living” recently listed 25 best summer deserts features some more grown-up summery selections for adults and those youngsters who don't like cupcakes (though I haven't met one who didn't). The blackberry ice cream in particular caught my eye. Summer means berry season and this recipe is sure to be a kid favorite. Just mix up some blackberries, ice and sugar and make a custard. Put it in an ice cream maker with some rock salt for four hours and you have some homemade blackberry ice cream! This would go perfect with that other favorite simple summer recipe, grilled peaches.

Tantalizing Tart

My favorite Key lime pie got a new spin this summer from “Coastal Living” as well. White chocolate Key lime pie could be served hot or cold. I think I'll chill mine and serve it with some cold sweet tea. This simple recipe is a family favorite and everything is better with chocolate. The best part is, it only uses five ingredients –  whipping cream, white chocolate, sour cream, limes, and graham cracker crust mix.
Even as an adult, summer still feels like vacation with its warm weather and tasty deserts. All those cool, fruity treats are my favorite part of the summer. They're so yummy, guests will wonder if you went to online cooking school during vacation.

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Inspiring and fun talk about Parenting by Francis Kong
2. Relaxing weekend, I was able to recuperate
3. Yellow Cab's Dear Darla
4. My girls :)
5. New eBooks!
6. Watched Princess Protection Program
7. Quick date with the Hubby
8. Churros con Tsokolate. YUM!
9. Nora Roberts Key Series
10. Sophie Kinsella's "I've Got Your Number". Love it!

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.

A Preview to our Vacation in Bicol

Grilled Fish, Paku Salad, Baluko, Native Chicken Adobo, Kinunot Pagi, and Fried Yellow Fin Fish

Well, obviously, based on my photo above, you would already know by now what we did in our vacation in Bicol. We ate and ate and ate the whole time we were there! Oh yes, we also went to a couple of places (will blog more about it soon) but the highlight of our vacay was the FOOD!

I knew from our vacation that we would end up RUINING our diet so I considered checking out IrvingiApress and irvingiaappress side effects. I read about how it will affect my body, but it seems like I won't be getting side effects from this pill. Now that I feel really heavy, I'm considering getting a couple of IrvingiApress and with my usual exercises, I would probably end up healthy AGAIN! I hope so!

Another Skip Hop Bag

...that I really like...

This is the zoo luggage little kid rolling luggage. Nice, right?

Zoo friends roll along for travel fun! Little kids will love rolling through the airport or to Grandma's with their own Zoo luggage. Sized perfectly for carry-ons and overnight trips, Zoo luggage is sturdy enough for everyday use or distant journeys. The detachable shoulder strap adjusts so adults can carry hands-free when little ones get tired. The front zip pocket with mesh divider make it easy to reach smaller items like snacks or books.

I'm sure the kids will love this! Perfect to bring to school or when we travel!

Putting Up a Construction Business

I have a few friends who are into construction business and it seems like they are earning pretty well. The thing about construction is that you need to invest on sturdy equipment and on great quality materials. The equipment are the core investments since these will be used a lot during construction. Materials are also important. Many businessmen fail to prioritize the materials, they end up repairing the buildings all over again. You have to purchase materials in good quality such as diamond blades at diamond-blades.com so that it will last for years. In this way, your clients will be happy with the outcome of your projects.

These are So Cute!

A cotton candy machine and a popcorn maker! The good news is, it's 64% OFF in Beeconomic.com!

Carnival snacks bring to mind cherished memories, with popcorn evoking favorite movie dates, and cotton candy reminding you of summers spent in the clouds. Relish in a reminiscent snack with today's Groupon. Choose from the following options:

- P1488 (P2999 value) for 1 cotton candy machine
- P1588 (P3200 value) for 1 popcorn maker

If only we have to budget for this now. I'm definitely getting one!

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. My sore eyes is almost gone!
2. Loving my kindle all over again ♥
3. Finally decided on the little girl's summer activities
4. Easter!
5. Food trip in Bicol
6. Quick date with the Hubby last night
7. 1 week of rest
8. Confession
9. Hot and Cold Springs
10. Beach!

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.

Pregnant Pause 3

Hi expecting parents, you might want to check this out!

The 3rd session of Pregnant is happening this SATURDAY, APRIL 14, 2012 at 1pm at
Stock Market, Bonifacio High Street.

Here are the PREGNANT PAUSE 3 topics and line up of speakers:

Rome Kanapi, childbirth educator: Helpful Techniques for A Soon To
1. stretching
2. positions in labor & delivery
3. how to manage back pain
4. when to go to the hospital
5. pushing techniques
6. learn to relax

Jen Tan of Next9, Babywearing and attachment pareting.

Jeannie Castillo of Kindermusik conducts a pilot class for expectant parents.

Register now at 4709925 or text 09178162524. Limited slots available.

Please note that the Pregnant Pause Talk is exclusive to pregnant moms only.

Lay-N-Go - I Need One!

I'm still working on my goal of decluttering my home that's why when I saw this, I knew that I had to get this for the kids!

Lay-n-Go (patent pending) is a 5 foot diameter activity mat that converts into an easily transportable shoulder satchel allowing for quick and effortless clean-up of small toy pieces. Toy collections used on the Lay-n-Go surface are easily spread out (no dumping needed) for hours of fun. Once playtime is over, the drawstring is pulled and the activity mat is converted back into a completely sealed soft storage bag. Lay-n-Go is a smart and easy activity mat, cleanup, storage and carry-all solution in one.

I love, love it! And I know that it's going to be very useful for us and our home. But for $69.99, it's not on the budget yet, so will have to save up for now and look it up again in the next few months.

Oh, Magnum!

After seeing Magnum photos over the internet for two weeks, we finally gave in and bought Selecta's MAGNUM!

We had the Magnum Classic (Rich, luxurious thick chocolate coats the smooth creamy TASTING vanilla ice cream within) and Chocolate Truffle (Creamy chocolate ice cream enrobed in a luscious chocolatey coating, rich chocolatey sauce and thick Belgian milk chocolate).

I love the melts in your mouth chocolate and the thick and creamy ice cream in magnums. For the price of PHP50.00, I would say it is expensive but not bad if you are treating yourself for a special occassion.

Since today is a holiday, maybe I should drop by the nearest supermarket and get a magnum!? Hmmm... we'll see!

The Hunger Games Movie is ♥.

I finally saw The Hunger Games movie last week and boy oh boy, I fell in love with it all over again.

The movie was a perfect adaptation of the book! I guess it helps that Suzanne Collins, the author was part of the team who made the screen play.

Here are my favorite scenes from the movie...

(**Warning: The rest of the post includes spoilers!**)

I'm definitely Team Peeta but Gale has always given my heart a thug. Especially if he's Liam Hemsworth! I love the first few scenes of the movie where it was shown how much Katniss and Gale are there for each other.

I cried and cried in the scenes of "The Reaping". As in literally afterwards, I had a headache for trying to control my tears! I saw the emotions there and her pain. Just as I read it in the book. It was perfect!

There are a lot of Katniss and Peeta scenes that I really like in the movie but this one is one of my favorites. She was trying to convince Peeta to show the other tributes what he's got! WTG Peeta!

A very emotional scene and unforgettable too. This one showed the audience how much Cinna loved Katniss. They have a secret and it will be revealed in the next movies.

Of course I will have to include their kiss. I think everyone loved this scene. Who wouldn't? Especially for Team Peetas like moi! ♥

Now I want to read the next book, "Catching Fire". It has been years since I last read it and I just want to keep this "high" feeling after watching. I definitely can't wait for the next movie!

Breaking Dawn Part II Teaser

"We have the same temperature now." - Edward

Awwww...I think this will be shown in November. I honestly wasn't too impressed with Breaking Dawn Part 1. Or maybe I just expected too much from the actors?

We'll see how this movie will turn out in November.

Easter in Toyland

This looks like an interesting alternative for an Easter Activity...

Kiddie-party.com organized this event on April 8, 2012 at The Blue Leaf called, "Easter in Toyland".

Reserve for your tickets now since limited slots are available for the Easter Egg Hunt.

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Time to reflect for Lent
2. Easter Sunday is almost here!
3. Bonding with family this week
4. Busy but fun weekend
5. Margaux's 7th birthday
6. Online friends turned real life friends :)
7. Long nap!
8. Catching up on my reading
9. Looking forward to my koreanovelas this week
10. Prayer Time

To know how this started and credits of the header, click here.

My Current Read.

...is Nora Roberts Key Series. I'm currently reading book 1, Key of Light.

So far I'm loving the light read of this book. I love how the author actually integrated modern setting and celtic Gods. I can't wait to finish this book and then proceed to books 2 (Key of Knowledge) and 3 (Key of Valor).

The Great Easter Weekend

Are you thinking of where to go this coming Easter Sunday? You might want to check Holiday Inn Clark's The Great Easter Weekend. It looks promising!

Feel GREAT ….. Feel HAPPY… on “The Great Easter Weekend” at Holiday Inn Clark. The only place in Clark where you celebrate, learn and have fun. Starting on Saturday, Apr 7, the day will kick-off with the kiddie bazaar not just for kids, but also for the young at heart… then, join Clarky, our very own mascot, in celebrating his 11th birthday with party games, balloon twisting and will finished with an animal show. … As a bonus… a new mascot will be introduced…”HOPPY” the frog. And finish the day with a kiddie movie at the Kid’s Inn.

Then, Sunday, Apr 8, where the kiddie bazaar continues together with our famous Easter Egg Hunt. Experience live bunnies, face painting, games, lolly bags, candy buffet and lots of colorful eggs. And end the day with a kiddie movie at the Kid’s Inn.

Sounds like F.U.N.!!!

March 2012 Monthly Roundup

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
- Judith McNaught's Something Wonderful
- Key of Light by Nora Roberts
- Key of Knowledge by Nora Roberts

What movies and/or TV shows did I watch this month?
- Camp Rock 2
- Fuerza Bruta
- Hunger Games

What special days did I celebrate and how?
- Family Day
- My little girl's 6th birthday and Preschool Graduation
- Rap's Graduation
- My friend's Mom's 80th birthday at St. Francis Hall

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
- Study Table for the little girl
- Cash for Rap
- Crayons and Notebook for the little girl's graduation
- The little girl got loots from Lolas, Lolos, Titas and Titos (thank you!)

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
- Allergies, migraines, eye hemorrhage :(

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
- Attended the little girl's family day in school
- Simple 6th birthday party for the little girl
- Went to Surigao with the whole family!
- Lunch at Sambo Kojin to celebrate graduation
- Attended 80th birthday party at ST. Francis Hall
- Dinner to celebrate Rap's Grad
- Watched Fuerza Bruta with Hubby and my sister
- Watched Hunger Games!

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
- Club Tara Resort
- Seafood lunch in Surigao. The BEST!
- Sambo Kojin lunch buffet
- Rufus Tapsilog after watching Fuerza Bruta

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
- None!

What were this month's disappointments?
- Had an eye hemorrhage

What were my accomplishments this month?
- NO Facebook for the season of LENT