April 2014 Monthly Roundup

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Powell
- Shatter Me Series by Taheri Mafi. Love this!

What movies and/or TV shows did I watch this month?
- Ikaw Lamang
- World War Z
- Life of Pi

What special days did I celebrate and how?
- FIL's birthday
- We celebrated SUMMER this month!

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
- I'm thankful that this month, inspite of having so many activities, I was strong and healthy.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
- Celebrated FIL's birthday
- We went to Mind Museum for playdate with friends
- The girls had fun at their CCA cooking class
- Went to EK to celebrate my sister's family day at work
- Went to Bicol to spend the Holy Week
- Went to Tagaytay for a quick getaway and bonding with friends

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
- Green Pastures for FIL's birthday
- Burger Project
- Max's Restaurant
- DJC Halo-halo. Y.U.M.!
- Diamond Hotel for a quick seminar
- Rose & Grace Bulalo, Sta. Rosa Laguna
- Old Spaghetti House
- Silantro, Kapitolyo Pasig

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
- Didn't shop this month. Yey!

What have you learned this month?
- Being deppressed is somehow being selfish. Because you tend to think about only yourself and nothing else. If you feel depressed, go out and think of helping other people. Maybe then you will feel better.

- In challenges that we face, and if we do not feel God's presence, take note that He is still there watching us - Life of Pi.

Oh, May, I'm definitely looking forward to see you. (*wink*)

Trying out Kanzhu Hand Pulled Noodles for the First Time

I've been hearing about Kanzhu Hand Pulled Noodles for months now so I've been so curious about the food. They said it is authentic Chinese noodels, so we gotta try it!


Finally, one Sunday lunch, we did go to their San Juan branch. This is what we had for lunch...


Chinese Sausage Fried Rice


Fried Chicken


Wanton Noodle Soup

All of us LOVED the food! We will definitely go back and hopefully SOON!


5 Quick Ways to Take Breaks from Motherhood by Mariel Uyquiengco of MumCentre

Here's another nice

5 Quick Ways to Take Breaks from Motherhood
By Mariel Uyquiengco

All moms consider their children as their pride and joy. We revel in being with our offspring, caring for them, teaching them, and shaping their lives.But even the most devoted moms need to take breaks from parenting duties once in a while to recharge, keep their sanity, or just be. We need to manage our parenting stress, before the pressure of juggling motherhood, work, and home take its toll.

A happy mom means a happy home, and a happy home means happy kids. Here are five quick ways to take little breaks from motherhood:

Exercise the stress away

Exercise releases feel-good endorphins that help relieve stress. The single-minded focus that we put into it helps us become calm. Being a health and wellness enthusiast, running is mom Cheryl Goodman’s number one choice for taking mommy breaks. She comes back from her runs “calm and grounded to parent again.” For those who exercise indoor, like blogging coach Martine de Luna, “30 minutes on the treadmill while watching Lifestyle network” is definitely a break for her.

Lose yourself in TV shows

Marge Aberasturi, founder of VA Support Pro, keeps her daily one-hour TV break sacred. Her homeschooledkids “don’t dare to speak to me except commercial breaks.” Her husband even prepares a drink and gives her chips, rounding out the queen-of-the-hour treatment. She maintains a long list of shows to watch, ready for her daily hour-long break.

Get a breather with a cup of coffee

Crafty stay-at-home mom Sheh Agustin waits for 3 o’clock to sit in her kitchen table. She treats herself to a much-needed cup of coffee and listens to her favorite jazz/retro radio station for a cafĂ© vibe at home. The same goes for freelance writer Mitzi Dico who rewards herself with a cup after her six-month old falls asleep and half of her work for the day is done.

Pamper yourself pink

Most moms look forward to a day of pampering at a salon. Manicure, pedicure, foot spa, facial, and massage are some of the magic words that make parenting stress go away like magic. Martine treats herself to a facial every two weeks to maintain her skin and mom Tisha Rosales will welcome a foot spa-mani-pedi combo anytime. There’s nothing like a good pampering to cheer up a tired mother hen!

Run errands

Though grocery shopping and paying bills at the bank seem like work, home-based baker Iris Pulga enjoys running errands. It’s time away from her kids and considers it her breather. During errand days, mini-dates with one’s husband can also be squeezed in, making it a special break from the stressful part of parenting.

Sometimes, taking a nice, undisturbed shower is enough of a break, like it is for mom Joy Lojo. Taking the time to just be alone with one’s thoughts can do wonders in lifting up a mom’s mood. It is important for one’s mental health. For all the joys of motherhood, all moms just need to get some break time. This need should be encouraged and respected by the whole family.

Mom, take care of yourself and protect your alone time! Wellness-advocate Cheryl has good advice about how to achieve this: trade childcare duties with mommy friends or ask your husband, grandparents, and other trusted relatives to get this all-important downtime. Remember, children need happy moms and a happy home! SOURCE.

My favorite parts: Exercise, a cup of coffee and pamper yourself pink. ♥♥♥

I never thought I'd appreciate a couple of hours in the salon. But now with a good book, an hour or two would help me a lot in re-charging after taking care of my family.

Yes, a cup of coffee would do wonders in my grumpy morning.

And exercise, it proves how much it changes a bad mood into a better one.

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: City of Angels

This is such a beautiful song by Thirty Second to Mars. Definitely a feel good song for a beautiful day like today.


Happy Sunday, everyone! (*WINK*)

Back at Early Bird Breakfast Club

After we had a very good breakfast at Early Bird Breakfast Club in The Fort, Taguig, I promised I would go back for the kids to try it too.
So when my Dad was here, I suggested this place, this time for dinner.


My Dad's Lemon Butter Bangus - Pan-seared bangus fillets served with garlic rice and garlic lemon butter.


Hubby's Tenderloin Tapa - Crispy Dory fish with a chunky fresh salad, homemade tartar sauce and grated egg.


Peanut Butter and Caramel French Toast - Crunchy peanut butter and homemade dulce de leche between caramelized French toast. YUM!


And, here's the happy bunch right after our breafkast food, for dinner. (*wink*)

Mommies Can't Sleep!? What do you Think?

This made me laugh because I can TOTALLY relate.


What do you think Mommies?

Funny, but so true, right!? Sigh. One of the joys of motherhood. (*grin*)

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Long vacation in Bicol during the Holy Week
2. Naps, naps, naps
3. Bicol food prepared by inlaws
4. Quick dip at San Benon Hot Springs
5. Beach!
6. The kids having a great time
7. Safe flight back home
8. Blessings
9. Family Time
10. Ice cream on a hot, hot day!

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

Loving the Home-cooked Meals at Cecil's Cafe

Before we went back home from our quick overnight in Silang, Cavite, we made sure we dropped by Cecil's Cafe for lunch. I heard that they offer good home cooked meal so I just had to try it!


And, I'm so glad we did.


Hubby's fish fillet which was very tasty and goes so well with their sweet & sour dip.


This is my tenderloin tips. Tender and juicy, perfect!

We also bought for take out their famous Fresh Xiamen "Amoy" Lumpia (P65) and Cua Pao (2pcs./order - P95) for pasalubong. These were all good too!

Overall, Cecil's Cafe does deliver on its promise of home-cooked goodness. It's great that it also offers Chinese specialties from its Green Patio lineage. It's a quaint resto that you can stop over before or after going to Tagaytay, especially if you are in the mood for home cooking while near the Nuvali area. - www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

Cecil's Cafe is located at CVI Bldg. ATI Complex, Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Rd, Sitio Muson, Brgy. Puting Kahoy, Silang, Cavite. It is open on Tuesdays to Sundays, 11.00am to 8.00pm. Take note that it is closed on Mondays. It is a small restaurant and it easily gets full so best to call for reservations at +63 920 915-7517 or send an email to, cecilscafe@gmail.com.

5 Time-Saving Apps for Busy Moms by Mariel Uyquiengco of Mumcentre

To all the busy Moms, I came across an article HERE about apps that we might be of use. It was very interesting so I thought of sharing it here.

Read on...

Women have to juggle so many things on a day-to-day basis: their kids’ schedules, their family’s groceries, household budget, their own work schedule, and other things that need their attention in minute detail. Everything needs to be managed smoothly. If you are one of those women who needs a little bit of outside help to stay organized, check out these five time-saving apps for busy moms.

Mighty Grocery (Android)

Julia Sta Romana, a mom rocking the work-at-home lifestyle as a virtual assistant and freelance writer, uses Mighty Grocery to help her keep track of groceries and household supplies. Though the app does not allow users to change the currency, Julia likes it because it allows her to keep track of her pantry’s contents. It also automatically adds to the grocery list based on recipes.

A similar app for iPhone users would be the free app Grocery Gadget Shopping List, which has the additional feature of syncing your shopping list with a member of your family’s own list.

Expense Manager (Android)

Rizza Francisco, author of the blog Home Life Journey and a financial advisor, finds the Android app helpful in tracking her family’s household expenses. She especially likes the fact that the income and expenses categories are completely customizable. For iOS users, you can check out Expense Manager Free and Pocket Expense Personal Finance.

iCal Lite (iOS)

For those juggling several jobs and concerns, keeping multiple calendars can be a headache. This is where iCal Lite comes in. Sanne Unson, who runs an online bookshop and a catering service while working a part-time I.T. job and homeschooling her daughter, likes iCal Lite as it synchronizes multiple Google calendars. This is a great help for all multi-tasking moms out there! For Android users, check out Jorte, which has similar features.

My Homework (iOS, Android)

Sometimes, keeping track of a young child’s homework and other activities can be daunting. My Homework can be used to put all of your child’s homework in just one place, helping you keep an eye on classes, due dates, and priority.

Wunderlust – To Do & Task List (iOS, Android)

Everyone can benefit from a to-do list! Wunderlust is a highly rated app in all platforms and is not just an ordinary to-do list app. It allows you to sync your data across all your devices and share with family and colleagues too. Use it to manage your day-to-day errands, work activities, and shopping list!

Being a super mom these days is as easy as having tools that help you manage everything that you need to do. Schedules, errands, budgets… say bring it on, with the handy apps tailored for busy moms!

Finally Tried Wild Flour Cafe

Ever since my sister enjoyed her meal at Wild Flour Cafe, I've been planning to go there myself to try their food. And after probably a year, finally Hubby and I found time to try it for the first time.

And with all these choices, our breakfast there was one of the best.


Even these breads and pastries look heavenly!



So this is what we had...


Hubby's Steak and Egg which has 100g flat iron steak, kimchi fried rice. He loved it!


I had Croque Madame with brioche, ham, Gruyere, fried egg. With a good cup of coffee, oh, it was yummy!

Wildflour Cafe is located at 4th Ave. Corner, ground floor of Netlima Bldg. Global City, Taguig. Needs reservation so call, (02) 856 7600. It opens from 8:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Happy!

Happy Easter! Let us rejoice because JESUS has RISEN!

Today is a HAPPY day so I'm sharing this cute song by Pharell Williams, featuring the minions.

SO cute!


HAPPY EASTER SUNDAY! (*wink*)

10 Things God Wants you to Remember this Holy Thursday.


Disconnect. Relax. Reflect.

Be back on Easter Sunday!

Anniversary Dinner at Min Sok.

We were going out of town the next day of our anniversary, so we just decided to have a simple Korean dinner at Min Sok. It was our first time. This restaurant was recommended by my friend Joy.


It was a small restaurant but the food sure was authentic and not to mention affordable too.


Hubby and I enjoyed Min Sok so much.


WE will definitely go back!

Lessons I will never Forget from the Secret of Walter Mitty Movie

As part of our 9th wedding anniversary, Hubby and I decided to watch a movie and it was "The Secret of Walter Mitty". We didn't expect that it would be impact our day. It was such a nice movie full of quotes that we will remember for the rest of our lives.

"Life is about courage and going into the unknown."

  "Go further."

 "Beaufitul things don't ask for attention."

"To see the world, 
things dangerous to come to, 
to see behind walls, draw closer,
to find each other, and to feel.

That is the purpose of life."

Beautiful quotes that we will live with. I love the part that says, "Life is about courage and going into the unknown.". In our lives, if we just stay in our comfort zones, we will not fully experience it and won't see what it has to offer. Life is just about taking risks. I have to keep that mind. (*wink*)

Loving the German Flavored Beer at Brotzeit.

After my sumptuous dinner at Akira, a Japanese restaurant, we all went to Brotzeit for a couple of drinks.

We were so early, the place was not packed!


This.


And this.


But look, someone didn't get a flavored beer...


Yup, that's me! LOL! I got an iced coffee instead with lots and lots of whipped cream and hazel nuts. Oh la la!

If you are a beer drinker, you definitely should try Brotzeit! Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant is located at Shangri-la Plaza Mall, Shaw Blvd cor EDSA.

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Breakeven.

The Script is one of my favorite bands. I definitely love their songs, but when I heard this cover by Boyce Avenue, I can't help but fall in love with it too...


Not to mention it's an acoustic version too.

What do you think? ♥♥♥

Happy Sunday, everyone!

5 Secrets to Prevent Working Mom Burnout By Mariel Uyquiengco

I so love this article I came across Mumcenter Philippines. All the working Moms will be able to relate to this one.

Read on and Enjoy!

Women have this lofty idea of “doing it all:” manage the household, care for the kids, and climb the corporate ladder or run a successful business. Being able to juggle all these roles, according to Jayme Gatbonton, creator of the workshop “Be Happy, Go Stress Free,” sometimes feel like it’s “a badge of success.” However, striving to fulfill all obligations and responsibilities comes at a price: job burnout and stress in other areas of life.

At some point, your work-life balance gets totally skewed. You feel empty, listless, and lacking in energy and motivation. The stress and sadness sometimes lead to physical sickness in some people. Before making a major decision, however, like quitting your job at the soonest possible time, try to manage your job burnout first.

Take a break

When you’re feeling overwhelmed and you feel that you cannot take another step back into your office again, then your mind and body are telling you that it’s time to take a break. Take a vacation, the longer the better, and re-charge. Do something fun and totally unrelated to your work. Stay incommunicado from the office, and focus on other aspects of your life.

Identify what you like and don’t like

When you’ve finally taken a breather, the next step is to analyze your situation. What do you like about your job? What don’t you like about it? What do you like about your current set-up? Include your household concerns and your personal goals and dreams outside of your job and motherhood. A little clarity will go a long way in leading you to your next steps.

Do the things you don’t like in one go


There are things that we really have to do no matter how much we don’t want to do them. Instead of dreading them, though, tackle them head on in one go. Set aside a time to do all those things that you dislike either once a day, or once a week, and just do it. Reward yourself with a drink or a sweet treat afterwards. Getting over that hump will feel like an accomplishment.

Delegate

Job burnout often goes together with too much responsibility on our shoulders. We feel torn on what we should do. Consider delegating tasks at work to a junior. Make sure to talk to your superior about this, and cite that you want to focus on other things that will have a significant contribution to the company. On the other hand, if a situation at home is contributing to your stress, consider getting help in that area too. There’s no shame in asking for help!

Plan your next steps

If doing the above does not make a positive dent in your situation, it is time to evaluate your priorities in life. If you are really and truly unhappy with your job, and you’ve exhausted all options to be happy there, it might be time to move on. It’s not worth it to keep a job that negatively impacts your health and family life.

“Doing it all” might seem like ideal. Everybody wants to be superwoman, right? However, everything comes at a price. We have to figure out our priorities and take steps in taking care of ourselves as we attempt to fulfill all our responsibilities in life.

SOURCE.

Dinner Date with College Friends at Akira.

We were all craving for Japanese food a couple of months ago when I met up with my college friends so we decided to try Akira at Shangrila East Wing. I'm so glad we did, because the food was really good.


The sushi was one of the freshest I've ever had and so was the seaweed salad. Oh, YUM!

The rest was good too - chicken teriyaki, shrimp tempura and fried rice. It was a feast! ♥

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Quick play date at The Mind Museum
2. Online friends turned Real friends :)
3. Green Pastures dinner
4. Fresh Dalandan Juice, YUM!
5. Back at EK! Fun, fun, fun!
6. Kids get to try the Log Jam!
7. Kalakals
8. Discovered Chekup's Teh Tarik. MMmmmm...
9. Quick grocery shopping
10. Sleeping in on weekends. ♥

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

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Truffles

No work today. YEY! A day to spend with family. ♥

And here's a treat that we are going to try today, Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Salted Caramel Truffles.


Definitely a highlight of our day. Yes, it is a cheat day. Woot, woot!

Kids Klub Summer 2014 Programs

Moms and Dads, are you still looking for summer activities for your kids. Check out these at Kids Klub, now in a new address - 29 Gen. Lim St., Heroes Hills, QC (behind the new Fisher Mall on Quezon Avenue corner Roosevelt).

Kids Klub - Art Camp for Kids.


Kids Klub - Gymnastics.


Kids Klub - Football.



Interested? Call them now! (*wink*)

An Unforgettable Night at the Hennessy Artistry Event

A couple of months ago, we were invited to a Hennessy Artistry event. Wow. It was definitely a great night of music, drinks and conversations with friends.


Hubby and I obviously had a fun night!


It was worth going. I hope our friend invites us again to the same event next year. (*wink*)(*wink*)

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: What is this Feeling?

End of my wicked series, here's the last song I'm sharing from the musical play, Wicked, which I saw last month.

Aaaah, it was one of the best!

What is this Feeling? Sung by Glinda and Elphy.


Funny and entertaining. I definitely love it!

Happy Sunday!

The Three “F’s” of Effective Parenting by Childhelp

There is no formula to a perfect parenting but articles that come my way every now and then helps a whole lot. Here's one of the articles that is worth keeping: The Three “F’s” of Effective Parenting by Childhelp.

Be Firm: Consequences should be clearly stated and then adhered to when the inappropriate behavior occurs.

Be Fair: The punishment should fit the crime. Also in the case of recurring behavior, consequences should be stated in advance so the child knows what to expect. Harsh punishment is not necessary. Using a simple time-out can be effective when it is used consistently every time the behavior occurs. Also, use of reward for a period of time like part of a day or a whole day when no time-outs or maybe only one time-out is received.

Be Friendly: Use a friendly but firm communication style when letting children know they have behaved inappropriately and let them know they will receive the “agreed upon” consequence. Encourage them to try to remember what they should do instead to avoid future consequences. Work at “catching them being good” and praise them for appropriate behavior.

Know Your Role: See your role as that of a teacher or coach to your children. Demonstrate in detail how you would like them to behave. For example…

- Try to set aside time on a regular basis to do something fun with your children.
- Rather than tell them what not to do, teach and show them what they should do.
- Use descriptive praise when they do something well. Say, “I like how you ____ when you ____.” Be specific.
- Help your child learn to express how he/she feels. Say, “You seem frustrated,” “How are you feeling?” “Are you upset?” “You look like you are angry about that.” “It’s OK to feel that way.”
- Try to see a situation the way your children to. Listen carefully to them. Try to form a mental picture of how it would look to them.
- Use a soft, confident tone of voice to redirect them when they are upset.
- Be a good listener: Use good eye contact. Physically get down to the level of smaller children. Do not interrupt. Ask open-ended questions rather than questions that can be answered with a yes or no. Repeat back to them what you heard.
- Make sure they understand directions. Have them repeat them back.
- When possible give them choices of when and how to comply with a request.
- Look for gradual changes in behavior. Don’t expect too much. Praise behavior that is coming closer to the desired goal.
- Develop a nonverbal sign (gesture) that your children will accept as a signal that they are being inappropriate and need to change their behavior. This helps them to respond to your prompt without getting upset

Click here for the rest of the article.

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Planning our summer!
2. Came across Paulo Coelho's books. I'm hooked!
3. Run/walk around the UP Oval
4. iHop brunch
5. Kids funny laugh
6. Rainbow Looming ♥
7. FREE hopia. Thanks to my officemate!
8. Work
9. Online tasks
10. Family ♥

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

Gloria Maris Dinner for Another Birthday Celebration

Just after we had lunch with my sister at Shangrila East Wing, then had dessert afterwards, we went again to another birthday celebration, this time at Gloria Maris.


It was a sumptuous meal of dimsum, fried rice, fresh vegetables and seafoods. Wow. We had quiet a night!


Gloria Maris is now one of our favorite Chinese restaurants. ♥



Summer Reading Camp for FREE

Here's another summer activity that Moms and Dads might want to check out...

Event is FREE OF CHARGE!


Here are the details:

What: SUMMER READING CAMP by Diksyonaryo Atbp
When: May 3 (Saturday)
Where: Luneta (Lapu-Lapu shrine area)
Time: 10am-12noon, 4-6pm

To register, click here. See you there! (*wink*)

Desserts at Gigi Cupcakes after my Sister's Birthday Lunch

Right after our great birthday lunch celebration at Zarzuela, we all went to Gigi's cupcakes for dessert.


Oh YUM!


I had tea that goes so well with my cupcakes. While Hubby got a good drip coffee. Red Velvet and salted chocolate cupcake were the best!



Definitely Y.U.M.M.Y.!