March 2014 Monthly Roundup

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
- Starters series by Lissa Price
- Currently reading: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

What movies and/or TV shows did I watch this month?
- Starting Over Again (Papa P & Toni G movie)
- Non-stop
- 24/7
- Angels in the Outfield

What special days did I celebrate and how?
- Family Day
- Our little girl's birthday
- Baby girl's moving up day
- Erin's first birthday

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
- I was up and running again this month. Thank you, God!

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
- Family day with inlaws
- Watched Non-stop movie and wine/cheese date with Hubby at Barcino
- Went to Pico de Loro to welcome the little girl's birthday
- Buffet dinner at Casa Filipino for birthay and moving up celeb
- Dinner with Dad at Kichitora
- Watched Bruno Mars concert ♥♥♥
- Dinner with Dad at Kimukatsu and checked out Century City Mall
- Double date with Marianos at Poco Deli
- Watched Teen Saint Pedro Musical Play with kids
- Quick picnic and run at UP Oval
- Rainbow Looming for the entire month of March!

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
- Barcino for wine, sausage and cheese
- Pico de Loro restaurant
- Casa Filipino dinner buffet
- Quick dinner at Kichitora
- Cafe Mediterrenean's kebab. Yum!
- Kimukatsu again with the whole family + Dad and sister
- Poco Deli with the Marianos
- iHop

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
- The girls made me lots of rainbow loom bracelets

What have you learned this month?
- Have faith. Believe in yourself but most of all, believe in God. Learn to trust HIM and everything will fall into place. I remember these are my mantra when I was a couple of years younger and didn't have my own family yet. With all the challenges that came my way, I completely forgot about this mantra. Thanks to a video online, I was able to remember it and hopefully would be able to include it again in my daily mantras. (*wink*)

- God wants you to fulfill your dreams. You were born for greatness. But for you to climb the top, you need to master the skill of turning stumbling blocks into the stepping stones. Yes, you can learn that skill. - BO Sanchez.

I'm so looking forward to more adventures this April! ♥

Summer Art Workshop by KidzArt Philippines

If you are looking for more summer activities for your kids in the South, do check it out.

We are happy to announce that KidzArt Philippines will be offering a Summer Art Workshop at Toddlers Unlimited.

6 Days Summer Art Workshop includes 2 days of Drawing, 2 days of Painting, 2 days of Sculpting. Hmmm...Interesting!

Here are more details:
Php6,600 for Toddlers Students and Alumni
Php6,800 for outsiders

Starting April 22 to May 13, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. You can choose between the following schedules: 10:30 to 12:30 and 1:30 to 3:30 pm.

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: As Long as You're Mine

Definitely one of my favorite songs in the Wicked Musical Play.

Let us fall in love all over again with our loved ones today. ♥♥♥

Barney's Birthday Bash is Coming to Manila!

Mommies and Daddies, if your kids are fans of Barney, you might want to check this out...

Barney`s Birthday Bash Live in Manila is happening on the 29th Mar 2014 to 30th Mar 2014 at SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Here are the ticket Prices:
VIP Front Row - PHP 3,400
VIP - PHP 2,970
Patron - PHP 2,650
LB center - PHP 1,590
LB Sides PHP 1,170

For more details, you can call the SM Tickets at (63 2) 470-2222.

My Sister's Birthday Lunch at Zarzuela.

My sister's birthday was a couple of months ago. She invited us over lunch and it was our first time to try Zarzuela.

Oooh, the food was delish! We had our favorites, Pork Binagoongan, kare-kare, pancit canton, crab relleno and the crispy liempo for appetizer. Oh wow. We had a sumptuous lunch! YUMMY! ♥♥♥

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Fun weekend!
2. Bruno Mars concert ♥♥♥
3. KFC assembly
4. Dinner with family at Kimukatsu
5. 25 layers of thinly sliced pork. YUM!
6. Coffee
7. Toasted Siopao with Egg.
8. Just One Day by Gayle Forman
9. Nap time
10. Kids' smiles and laughters

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

My Cousin's Wedding at Tagaytay (Part 2/2)

As promised, here is the continuation of my post yesterday. The wedding details!

I loved that there were cute wedding stuff wherever I looked during my cousin's wedding in Tagaytay. And look, the little girl has her own table with her fellow flower girls. She was so happy!

It was a great wedding! Happy that my Mom and I and the little girl were able to witness it.

Congratulations again to the newlyweds!

McDonald's Kiddie Crew Summer Workshops

Hello fellow Moms and Dads, McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop is ongoing! Interested?

Here is the schedule for 2014 summer...

(*Click the image for bigger view*)

I'm interested on this one too. I hope we will find time to do this.

My Cousin's Wedding at Tagaytay (Part 1/2)

Last January, we were invited to my cousin's wedding in Tagaytay. It was a weekday so good thing traffic was not too bad. The weather was cooold, but the little girls and I enjoyed it so much.

Yes, it was a beautiful wedding. ♥

Will post more about the wedding details tomorrow.

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: I'm Not that Girl.

Oh, here's another favorite song of mine from the Musical Play, Wicked.

This just brought me to tears up to now. Such a great song and touching too.

Happy Sunday, peeps! (*wink*)

Trying to be Organized, thanks to my Starbucks Planner

Summer is a very busy time of our year but thanks to my planner, I was able to organized our activities.

..and thanks to my sister, I got one, myself! Woot! ♥

Thankful for being able to Watch Wicked!

Thanks to my dear sister, I was able to watch the WICKED musical play for FREE! It was her belated birthday gift. I was so happy!

I was so looking forward to this beautiful musical play for months until finally, our viewing date had come. Good thing everything fell into place after knowing that traffic would be worst that day.

We even got there in CCP so early we took lunch at the restaurants there. And then finally, the play started...

I was mesmerized the entire play. I truly loved it!

Felt so blessed that I was able to watch it. It was amazing! I just hope that maybe in the next few years, they go back again so the kids are big enough to watch it too. ♥

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Busy but happy weekend with family!
2. Post birthday and moving up day celebration at Casa Filipino
3. 2-hour nap on Sundays ♥
4. Erin's first birthday!
5. Fries, corndogs, squidballs and candies. YUM!
6. Birthday and moving up day gifts for the kids
7. Rainbow Loom
8. Ramen ♥
9. Shopping with my favorite Aunt :)
10. Planning our 2014 Summer!

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

Our Sumptuous Dinner Buffet at Saisaki

A couple of months ago, we were invited by my BIL to celebrate his birthday at Saisaki.

I was expecting a night of food and chikahan and I was right!

It was a definitely a lovely dinner. Thanks again for inviting us! ♥♥♥

10 Childhood Memories Apps and iPads Can’t Replace by Mariel Uyquiengco

I've always believe that kids should not get too attached to gadgets such as Ipads, iphone and any other electronic devices. That's why I was so happy, I came across this article. It has validated my belief. And look, there are actually more things that the kids can do apart from playing with their gadgets.

Put on a show

Nothing beats pretend play. Act out a favorite story complete with costumes, props, and musical accompaniment. It’s nothing fancy. Just get some old clothes, ribbons, homemade drums, and you’re on your way! On some days, put those stuffed animals to good use for a puppet show.

Create with homemade play dough

Stretch your child’s imagination with play dough. Start by letting him help you make and color your own homemade batch. Watch magic unfold, as he plays undirected for hours! If you’ve been relying on TV to babysit, play dough might be a better alternative.

Have an indoor picnic

We love having a picnic at the foot of the mountain – the foot of the stairs, that is! Enjoy your child’s company in an indoor picnic complete with a blanket, hot chocolate, and his favorite cookies. You can even read a book aloud while you’re at it. Think of the memories you will be creating!

Make some art

When it comes to art and kids, mess is a non-word. Make art materials available and accessible to your child. Different kinds of paper, colored pencils, crayons, watercolor, finger paint, glitter, glue, and scissors are some of the basic supplies that you should always have at home.

Play store

Children love imitating what they see in the real world, and you can bet that playing store is something that can consume your child for days on end. Gather some knick-knacks, lay them out on the table, and get some real or play money. In our home, we sell books, dolls’ clothes and shoes, pretend food – the list is endless!

Sing and dance

Children naturally love singing and dancing. If you need help and can’t remember your nursery rhymes, search for some on – without your child, of course! Amplify the fun with some homemade instruments: a box for a drum, pencils for rhythm sticks, keys for bells.

Plant some seeds

Cultivate a sense of wonder for the natural world, and plant some seeds! If you don’t have a garden, a nice small pot of soil will do. Mung beans are the easiest to plant as these grow within a day or two. Get a magnifying glass and have your child take a closer look as nature unfolds.

Make a house

Little kids love a place of their own, and will usually build soft houses with pillows and blankets. For the ultimate fun house, give your child a cardboard box or two, and some markers or paint. Let him at it and see what kind of a home he’ll come up with. Crawl into it with him if you can!

Go for a walk

Go see how the world looks at different times of the day. Talk about what you see and hear. Count the number of brown dogs you meet in your neighborhood, flap your arms like birds, and pick up some wild flowers. Make sure to go for an evening stroll too, so you can watch the stars.


Make a variety of books available in your home and make reading and cuddling an important part of your day. Visit the library often, if there’s one near your home, for more books and storytelling activities. Audio books are great too, if your throat hurts from reading already. Your child will benefit from some quiet, listening time.

Turn off the TV, or the iPad, and play, laugh, talk, and enjoy each other more. TV-free activities at home mean more time to interact with and learn from each other. Children need to engage in the real world, with real things and real people, and not just be entertained by a screen in front of them.

Goodbye Malaysia. Until we Meet Again...

Our one week vacay is now over. Sigh. But we will definitely see you again, Malaysia.

Our KL/Langkawi trip is now the longest vacay we ever had. Thanks to my dear family for making it possible. Fun, fun, fun!

I also thank God for this. If not for HIS blessings, we won't be able to have this vacation in the first place. So we thank you and we praise you, Lord God.

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Popular

Ok, I'm officially declaring the month of February and March as Wicked months since I'm already sharing songs about this play for weeks now.

Here's another favorite song called "Popular" sung by Glinda.

I love, love it!

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Our Last Old Town Lunch at Kuala Lumpur

Before leaving Kuala Lumpur, we had lunch at our favorite local restaurant - Old Town White Coffee.

And of course, we ordered our favorite food too.

Signature Nasi Lemak with Fried Chicken

Oh it was so, so yummy! Wish we could go back and eat there again. Or better yet, wish they open a branch here in Manila!

10 Common Mistakes Parents Today Make Part 2 of 2

TO continue my previous post about the article I came across last week - 10 Common Mistakes Parents Today Make by Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis , here are the next five common mistakes of we parents make these days...

Mistake #5: Missing the wonder of childhood. The other day I found a Strawberry Shortcake sticker on my kitchen sink. It reminded me how blessed I am to share my home with little people.

One day there won't be stickers on my sink. There won't be Barbies in my bathtub, baby dolls on my bed or Mary Poppins in the DVD player. My windows will be clear of sticky handprints, and my home will be quiet because my daughters will be hanging out with friends instead of nesting at home with me.

Mistake #4: Raising the child we want, not the child we have. As parents we harbor dreams for our children. They start when we get pregnant, before the gender's even known. Secretly we hope they'll be like us, only smarter and more talented. We want to be their mentors, putting our life experiences to good use.

But the irony of parenting is that children turn our molds upside down. They come out wired in ways we never anticipated. Our job is to figure out their inherent, God-ordained bent and train them in that direction. Forcing our dreams on them won't work. Only when we see them for who they are can we impact their life powerfully.

Mistake #3: Forgetting our actions speak louder than words. Sometimes when my kids ask a question, they'll say, "Please answer in one sentence." They know me well, for I'm always trying to squeeze life lessons into teachable moments. I want to fill them with wisdom, but what I forget is how my example overshadows my words.

How I handle rejection and adversity... how I treat friends and strangers... whether I nag or build up their father... they notice these things. And the way I respond gives them permission to act the same.

If I want my children to be wonderful, I need to aim for wonderful, too. I need to be the person I hope they'll be.

Mistake #2: Judging other parents -- and their kids. No matter how much we disagree with someone's parenting style, it's not our place to judge. Nobody in this world is "all good" or "all bad"; we're all a mix of both, a community of sinners struggling with different demons.

Personally, I tend to cut other parents more slack when I'm going through hard spells. When my child is testing me, I'm compassionate to parents in the same boat. When my life is overwhelming, I'm forgiving of others who slip up and let things fall through the cracks.

We never know what someone's going through or when we'll need mercy ourselves. And while we can't control judgmental thoughts, we can cut them short by seeking to understand the person instead of jumping to conclusions.

Mistake #1
: Underestimating CHARACTER. If there's one thing I hope to get right in my children, it's their CORE. Character, moral fiber, an inner compass... these things lay the foundation for a happy, healthy future. They matter more than any report card or trophy ever will.

None of us can force character on our kids, and at age 10 or 15 character won't mean much. Children care about short-term gratification, but we, as parents, know better. We know that what will matter at 25, 30 and 40 is not how far they once threw the football, or whether they made cheerleader, but how they treat others and what they think of themselves. If we want them to build character, confidence, strength and resilience, we need to let them face adversity and experience the pride that follows when they come out stronger on the other side.

So what do you think fellow parents? Do you agree on this article I've shared? As for me, yes I totally agree on this one.

Duty Free Shopping in Langkawi

One of the fun times that we also treasure during our one week vacation in Langkawi was the duty free shopping!

I was surprised that almost wherever we looked, there were duty free shops. They have the cheapest chocolates, wine, liquor and more. Oh, we had a grand time shopping there!

10 Common Mistakes Parents Today Make Part 1 of 2

I came across this article - 10 Common Mistakes Parents Today Make by Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis and it was such an eye opener for me. I'm also guilty of these mistakes so I thought of blogging it here to remind of these mistakes and hopefully I don't get to do it anymore. Hopefully!

Mistake #10: Worshipping our children. Many of us live in child-centered communities. We're raising our kids in child-centered homes. Our children love this, of course, because our lives revolve around them. And for the most part we don't mind either, because their happiness is our happiness. It thrills us to do for them, buy for them, and shower them with love and attention.

Mistake #9: Believing our children are perfect. One thing I often hear from professionals who work with children (counselors, teachers, etc.) is that parents today don't want to hear anything negative about their kids. When concerns are raised, even concerns voiced out of love, the knee-jerk reaction is often to attack the messenger.

The truth can hurt, but when we listen with an open heart and mind we stand to benefit. We can intervene early before a situation gets out of hand. It's easier to deal with a troubled child than repair a broken adult.

Mistake #8: Living vicariously through our children. We parents take great pride in our children. When they succeed, it makes us happier than if we'd done it ourselves.

But if we're overly involved and invested in their lives, it gets hard to see where they end and we begin. When our children become extensions of us, we may see them as our second chance. Suddenly it's not about them, it's about us. This is where their happiness starts getting confused with our happiness.

Mistake #7: Wanting to be our child's BFF. When I asked a priest to name the biggest mistake he sees in parenting, he thought for a moment and then said, "Parents not being parents. Not stepping up to the plate to do hard things."

Like everyone, I want my children to love me. I want them to sing my praises and appreciate me. But if I'm doing my job right, they'll get mad and not like me sometimes. They'll roll their eyes, moan and groan, and wish they'd been born into another family.

Seeking to be our child's BFF can only lead to permissiveness and choices made out of desperation because we fear losing their approval. That's not love on our end; that's need.

Mistake #6: Engaging in competitive parenting. Every parent has a competitive streak. All it takes to stir this monster in us is another parent giving his or her child a leg up at our child's expense.

I hear these stories a lot at the junior high and high school levels, stories of broken friendships and betrayals due to one family blindsiding another family. In my opinion, the root is fear. We fear our children will get left behind. We fear that if we don't jump into the craziness, and pull out every stop to help them excel early, they'll be stuck in mediocrity the rest of their life.

Watch out for the rest of the 5 items in the next few days. (*wink*)

The Whole Family in Kuah Town

We had a little bit of "photoshoot" while in Kuah Town so I'm sharing a few photos of the whole family.

SO here you go...

Thanks to the Hubby for taking these photos. He's so patient with us especially the famous jump shot. (*grin*)


Discovering Kuah Town in Langkawi

I specifically liked Kuah Town apart from all the tourist spots we went to in Langkawi because it still has a touch of the "old" town that I expected before coming to Malaysia. I love the colorful walls and floor tiles. I felt like I was in an old Malaysian town.

I was also impressed by this huge eagle right in the middle of Kuah Town.

Langkawi’s main town, Kuah, is located on the southeast corner of the island and is the arrival point for most of the ferries. If you’re arriving here with the illusion that you’re going to see clear white stretches of beaches as far as the eye can see, then you’re sadly mistaken. They’re located elsewhere on the island. SOURCE.

Kuah is a town which sits on reclaimed land and the waterfront sadly looks like a mucky and murky strip. Ships are ever-present in the distance and the looming mountains on the nearby islets are visible during the day but truthfully the Pantai Cenang and Pantai Tengah stretch is the place to go for clear and inviting views of the crystal clear ocean. SOURCE.

I also loved that there were trees all over the place plus the pier. Aaaah, it was a beautiful place.

If you go for shopping, don't fret because this town is surrounded with shops!

That being said, Kuah is not without its charms – the town has many excellent duty-free stores selling everything but the kitchen sink. Confectionary, tobacco and perfumes are easily found; the stores may not always be pretty, but they serve their purpose. In other words, apart from the numerous duty-free stores, there’s little to stop you proceeding to the beaches on the north side of the island. SOURCE.

I would love to visit this quaint and quiet little town again of these days. Or probably years.

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Thank Goodness.

Isn't it obvious that Wicked has invaded my mind for weeks now?

Here's another song that caught my heart.

Yes -
We couldn't be happier,
Right, dear?
Couldn't be happier
Right here
Look what we've got
A fairy-tale plot
Our very own happy ending
Where we couldn't be happier -
True, dear?
Couldn't be happier
And we're happy to share
Our ending vicariously
With all of you
He couldn't look handsomer
I couldn't feel humbler
We couldn't be happier
Because happy is what happens
When all your dreams come true!

A song mostly sung by Glinda. Very touching because she was actually trying to convince herself that she is happy. I know most people can relate to this song. ♥

Flashback FRIDAY: EK in 2010.

HAHA! Check out this souvenir photo taken at Enchanted Kingdom last 2010.

We had so much fun on this ride - the Log Jam. I was so scared. But the husband and my sister don't look like they are, right? LOL!

Our Quick but Super Fun Island Hopping in Langkawi

Our quick island hopping in Langkawi was just a couple of hours but it was also unforgettable. With a speed boat that brought us to every island and yes, with ultimate speed in going to and from the places, it was indeed memorable!

Here's what we did...

First Stop: Pregnant Maiden Island. A very beautiful fresh water lake.

But before seeing the beautiful lake, we had to climb up and down the stairs first. It was a good exercise for us especially the kids.

And on our way up, there were monkeys all over the place.

Swim at the natural fresh water lake of the pregnant maiden. Allow hundreds of ikan keli ( Catfish ) to massage your legs. An unforgettable experience! According to the legend of the pregnant maiden, women who were unable to conceive, became fertile after drinking water from the lake. Many tourists were known to have collected & brought bottles of the fresh water back home.

Second Stop: Eagle Watching. With this we were able to watch wild white belly eagle & Brahmin kite's feeding frenzy.

It was a beautiful experience especially for the kids. Definitely unforgettable!

Third and Last Stop: Beras Basah Island. The best beach in Langkawi. We loved the white sand and crystal clear water of this island.

After our adventure, we all went back to the hotel and then the kids decided to swim in the pool. OH yes, they can't just get enough of the water! (*grin*)