June 2014 Monthly Roundup

Wow, school has started and after two weeks, the month of June just ended just like that. Very fast!

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
- The One (3rd book of The Selection Series) by Kierra Cass

What movies and/or TV shows did I watch this month?
- Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
- The Ender's Game
- We are the Millers
- The Book Thief
- The Lego Movie

What special days did I celebrate and how?
- Last hurrah for 2014 summer
- Father's Day
- Ricky's birthday
- Jacqui's 40th party!
- We celebrated the first few weeks of school
- Kimi's 7th birthday party

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
- Allergies were bad because of the change of weather

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
- Went to Tagaytay for a quick getaway and bonding with friends (last hurrah for summer!)
- Watched Maleficent and How to Train the Dragon 2
- Buffet lunch at Circles
- Attended Jacqui's 40th birthday bash

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
- Green Pastures
- Strumm's with Juan Miguel Salvador ♥♥♥
- Gyu-kaku BBQ Grill
- Circles
- Buon Giorno, Rockwell

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
- No particular purchases this month. WOOT!

What have you learned this month?
- There's one particular lesson I've learned this month, and it is that you live your life intentionally. Stop looking at your phone, connect online and start living your life.

- Social media networks are common tools for us to see other people's lives. In this we tend to compare our lives to them. Watch out for this.

Yummy Breakfast at IHop

I miss having a good breakfast so I thought of posting here our yummy breakfast at iHop, a couple of months ago.

Unlimited coffee refill is my most favorite in iHop.

My healthy choice - fruits and omelette. YUM!

For the Hubby, tocino, garlic rice and eggs.

For the kids, mini pancakes, bacon and egg.

Aaaah, it was another fulfilling breakfast at iHop. We missed it. Hope we could be back again one of these days.

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Not Broken

I still love Goo Goo Dolls. Sigh.

Have a nice day, peeps! (*wink*)

Rainbow Loom Bracelets, Anyone?

Hello Saturday!

The reason why I love Saturdays is that we get to be creative. Today we are making rainbow loom bracelets. Look, what the kids made so far...

Lots and lots of colors. I love, love it! Looking forward to more rainbow loom designs soon. Don't worry, will definitely post our creations soon.

Flashback FRIDAY: Macau in 2006.

Oh, I miss Macau, so I've decided to post a few photos during our 2006 visit.

It was a memorable trip with the whole family. I can't wait for another trip like this soon.

Good Food, Wine and Company at Poco Deli

Hubby and I, together with our friends met up for dinner at Poco Deli a couple of weeks ago.

This has become our favorite hang out place. It is small but really cozy and perfect for late night chikahan.

The food and wine are really good too!

My favorite - truffle pasta and pizza.


Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Happy weekend!
2. Kimi's 7th Birthday Party. Thanks for having us!
3. Mc Donald's in SM Aura is ♥.
4. Work, work, work!
5. Movie time - The Lego Movie. It was awesome!
6. Wine, Cheese and Grapes
7. Saturday night family bonding
8. Quick dinner date with the Hubby
9. Japanese food
10. CFC Friends

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

Complicate your Life by BO Sanchez

I love this article by my favorite author - BO Sanchez. I'm sure you will like it too...

Complicate Your Life

My title sounds shocking, especially coming from someone whose known by everyone as Mr. Simple—a guy who doesn’t even comb his hair and doesn’t wear a watch and who dons a 70’s outfit not because its faddish but because he’s trapped in that era.

But you see, I don’t believe that simplicity is the greatest thing in the world.

Take my life for example. I’ve deliberately complicated it.

When I was a single man some time ago, I didn’t even know what “savings” meant. Today, I have to deal with educational plans, health insurance, and sound investments. And even if the thief-in-diapers is still toothless as of this writing, I’m seriously saving for his teeth braces, which I hear, costs more than my car.

During my single days, I recall sauntering off by myself to a lonely mountain to pray for a day or two—whenever I so desired. I’d bring a guitar, a bible, and a tiny picnic basket. All by my quiet self.

That will never happen again in my present life. Because now, I’d have to bring a guitar, a bible, a picnic basket, my wife, my two kids, and 12 huge bags…

And in that mountain, I can only pray in short spurts every once in awhile—when my wife and kids are doing other things.

When I was newly married, there were days when a thought crosses my mind: What insanity came over me? Why did I complicate my very simple, happy, single life?

But immediately, the answer came forcefully when I saw my wife playing with our smiling baby in her arms. Peace overflowed my heart as I realize that I’ve exchanged my very simple, happy single life for a very complicated, happy married life.

Today, after 15 years of marriage, I’m so happy that I complicated my life. The two biggest reasons are my two boys—now 9 and 14.

Why have I complicated my life?

Because I have decided to love.

And here’s the lesson I’ve learned: As long as you complicate your life because of love, then it’s glorious.

Congratulate yourself.

Because simplicity isn’t the greatest thing in the world, but love.

Let me give you two other examples:

If you’re going to join a spiritual community, believe me when I say this: your life will get complicated. (Take it from one who’s been part of community for 30+ years.) Why complicate your life with weekly meetings, ministry responsibilities, and queer personalities?

A more basic example:

Why will you commit your entire life to God? I mean, won’t it be easier just to be a nominal Mass-goer? All you have to do is go to Mass on Sundays and presto—you’re guilt-free. You can do what you want to do the rest of the week. You don’t have to think about serving Him every moment of your life. You don’t have to love Him in your every word, thought, and deed. That’s just too complicated!

So make your life simple? (Simply meaningless.)

I urge you to take the other direction.

For the sake of your Divine purpose, complicate your life.

Reminiscing the Best Concert we saw this Year

Wow, I can't believe that it has been months since Bruno Mars' Moonshine Concert Tour. I can still feel the excitement

The music and the fun kept on lingering in our minds.

Bruno Mars was the BEST!

We had a wonderful time! Thank you, Bruno Mars! ♥♥♥

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: Mango Tree

Here's a perfect song for a laidback Sunday.

Enjoy your day, everyone! Have a blessed, Sunday.

The Story of the Mexican Fisherman

I came across this beautiful story about the Mexican fisherman that I would like to share here.

Read on...

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

This is truly inspiring. Thank you dear God for showing me how to live my life.

Flashback FRIDAY: Amorita Resort, Bohol.

Oh, I miss our grand stay at Amorita Resort a couple of years ago. So this is what I'm sharing for Flashback FRIDAY.

Look at our gorgeous room for the weekend...

And the infinity pool was just as memorable...

But the view from the resort was simply the best...

Love, love, love! Wish we could be back here soon.

Cafe Mediterenean has become a Favorite!

One weekend last summer, Hubby and I needed a quick break away from errands and from "being parents" so we decided to eat out. We had dinner at Cafe Mediterenean. Ever since we tried it, we were hooked!

We both specifically liked the Greek salad.


...and the kebabs of course!

Plus the kebab with rice...

I think from now on this is going to be part of our list of favorite restaurants. Yum, yum, yum!

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Fun weekend
2. Watched "How to Train a Dragon" with my sister and the kids
3. Pre-Father's Dinner
4. Households last week
5. June 12 holiday!
6. Long nap
7. Toasted Siopao
8. Our help is back! Woot! Praise God!
9. Back to school. Back to reality. (*wink*)
10. CFC Community

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

Craving for Ramen...

Yes, as early as this hour, I'm actually craving for a hot ramen. Something like we had at Kichitora Tokyo.

Tasty, hot and yummy!

Wish we could drop by again one of these days. ♥♥♥

9 Easy Ways to Sneak in Exercise By Tina Haupert of Health.com

Happy Tuesday! School has just started again. I can't believe that summer just went by like that. Now, we're welcoming the new school year. It's also time to shed out those extra lbs gained over the summer.

Here's a nice article I came across online.

9 Easy Ways to Sneak in Exercise

Speed walk your errands
Instead of eating lunch at my desk, I lace up my sneakers and do my daily errands on foot during my lunch break. I use my to-do list to map out a walking route, grab my wallet and iPod, and head outside for an hour of heart-pumping activity.

Sometimes I need to drive to a shopping area first, but then I cruise around on foot checking items off my list. I love that getting my errands and workout out of the way frees up my evening for some serious relaxation!

Play in the park
Instead of meeting friends for Happy Hour after work, we head to the park for a couple of hours of play. We bring a Frisbee or bocce set and play a few rounds together. This way, I can incorporate some activity into my social life—and avoid those cocktail calories!

Stand and flex
When waiting in line at the grocery store or bank (or any other establishment), I flex my abs for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.

It helps make the time pass, and it's a quick and easy way to work your core without anyone noticing.

Go the long way
You've probably heard this one before, but it really works: Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Find a parking spot far away from your building so you get a little extra walking. If you ride the bus or subway to work, get off a stop before your office and walk the extra distance.

It might take you a little more time to get to your destination, but all of those extra steps really add up!

Email and call less
When I worked in an office, instead of calling or emailing a coworker, I got up from my desk and walked over to chat with them. Usually, we got a lot more accomplished in a quick in-person meeting, and I burned a few calories walking to their desk.

It might not seem like a lot of activity, but all of those small steps can equal big gains when they're continued all day long.

Nix the shopping cart
If I don't have a huge shopping list, I nix the cart and use two reusable bags to carry my groceries. I throw a bag over each shoulder and walk around the grocery store collecting items. Carrying two heavy bags is a great workout, and, at the same time, I get my grocery shopping done for the week.

Wake up and give me 50
Before I get into the shower in the morning, I do 50 crunches and push-ups on the floor of my bedroom. It takes me only about five minutes to complete, but it sets the tone for my day.

Plus, if I can't fit in a full workout for the day, at least I did something!

Add 15 minutes to Fido's walk
I walk my dog every morning before work. On the days when I know it'll be tough to fit in a workout, I add an extra 15 minutes to our walk, and I make sure that I get the most bang for my buck by power walking or running those extra steps. And, of course, Murphy loves the extra exercise too!

Be a weekend warrior
It's easier to fit in a workout on the weekend, but not when your household tasks take over most of your free time. Instead of missing out on a workout, I turn these tasks into exercise.


I will definitely keep these tips in mind. ♥

Double Celebration at Casa Filipino

A couple of months ago, we celebrated the kids' school achievements and we decided to have it at Casa Filipino.

The whole family was there to celebrate with us too!

We went early to make the most out of the buffet. At 6:30PM, we were the first ones to arrive. I'm glad we did go early because we were able to try all the food being offered.

The food was delish. Not something very special, but good enough for the celebration. Hopefully we could go back again one of these days. Perhaps, for another big celebrations? Let's see!

Happy Father's Day, Daddies!

This one is dedicated to all the Daddies/Dadas/Fathers/Tatays out there...

You all deserve a special day! Enjoy!

More Ways to Save Money on Healthy Food by Carolyn Richardson

This came in handy when I was planning our monthly menu. So Mommies, this might help you too.

More Ways to Save Money on Healthy Food by Carolyn Richardson

Here are my 6 favorite tips and tricks for stretching every last grocery dollar.

Plan a Week's Worth of Meals

When it comes to saving money at the grocery store, much of it happens before I even leave my house. Typically, on Sunday afternoons, I take the time to meal-plan for the week.

Poke Around the Fridge

The first thing I do in my meal-planning process is take stock of what I already have in my kitchen. I take the time to move things around in the refrigerator and scour the cabinets to see what I have on hand. Most of the time, I am surprised by what I find—a jar of marinated artichoke hearts, a can of pinto beans, a half-used bag of coffee. Instead of buying these items again or letting them go to waste, I incorporate them into the coming week’s menu.

Consider Your Schedule

Before I visit the grocery store, I look at my calendar as well as my husband’s for the upcoming week and create meals around when we will be home for dinner. We typically plan a meal for each night at home and make sure to take into account meals with lots of leftovers—like casseroles or homemade pizza. I keep in mind that Fridays and Saturdays are usually "wing it" nights because we’ll often end up going out to dinner or meeting friends for appetizers and drinks, so I don’t buy extra food for those nights.

Don't Be Afraid of Bruised Produce

I always check out the reduced produce area with the hope of finding some good deals. Usually, this produce has a single bump or bruise that can easily be cut off. But, I only buy produce that I plan to use right away or have something in mind for. It’s not worth buying damaged produce if I don’t end up using it. Lately, I’ve been buying a bunch of bruised produce that I immediately peeled and freeze for smoothies.

Stock Up on Staples

Sure, you’ve heard of the “make a list and stick to it” tip when grocery shopping. It’s a great piece advice, and I usually keep it in mind. However, I also make sure to stock up on my favorite products when they go on sale. My husband and I plow through peanut butter and oatmeal like it’s our job, so when they go on sale, I make sure to buy them even if we haven’t run out yet. I know that we’ll use these items at some point, so I might as well stock up and save a little money.


What I do is I plan our menu every month. I know it seems like a month is too long but these days, it just flew by so quickly that I'm even surprised that I'm about to make another menu.

Will definitely look more into these tips and see if I can incorporate most of it in our budget and menu.

Our Lunch at the Famous Green Pastures

A couple of weeks ago we finally tried Green Pastures. And look, what greeted us!

My friend has been recommending this for months already but the line was too long. Finally, when it was a weekday, I was with my Aunt and we were willing to wait for half an hour. Yes, half an hour! But it was well worth it!

Food was definitely delish! Plus healthy too. Salad, Beef Salpicao, fresh dalandan juice and veggie pasta. All are YUM!

Will love to be back here again and hopefully SOON!

Love This!

Healthy and definitely tasty!

I love the Trader Joe's Baked Lentil Chips (Sea Salt and Black Pepper).

It actually grows on you. LOL! At first try I didn't like it, but the more I have it, the more I'm loving it. Well, it's healthy, that's the best excuse for having this again. (*wink*)

Fitness Apps For Your Specific Sport by Leyla Shamayeva of Calorie Count

I was browsing online about ways to make myself get excited on workouts, when I came across this article about apps that you can use for fitness. Very timely. Read on.

Fitness Apps For Your Specific Sport by Leyla Shamayeva

Data, especially organized data, gives insight into any subject. Take what Calorie Count provides as an example. The app is perfect for tracking all the details of your diet (right?), and the numbers help determine nutrient problem areas, eating patterns, and make you aware of and accountable for your food choices. When it comes to fitness, there are activity trackers like Fitbit, Nike+ Fuelband, or a simple pedometer that encourage a more active lifestyle...but your smartphone is useful as well. Try these apps (they’re some of my favorites!) together with Calorie Count to track the specifics of your sport.

For Walking, Running and Cycling

I’ve tried Endomondo, Runkeeper, and even Zombies, Run! to map my walks, runs, and bike rides, track time and mileage, and challenge my own personal bests. Currently, however, my favorite app is Moves, available for both iOS and Android. As long as you have your phone on you, Moves will accurately track every step you make, total your active time and miles for the day, estimate calories burned for each activity, and even map your movements. Best part? You don’t have to do anything. The app is smart enough to differentiate between when you’re walking, running, cycling, and driving. Although the app does cost a few dollars, it does more than costly pedometers you wear on your body, is pleasant to look at and easy to use.

For Yoga

A yoga studio isn’t the only place to obtain the benefits of yoga. When there’s no time (or money) to attend a session at your favorite studio, use an app to setup your own routine at home, or just add a few body-stretching poses after your workout. One such app is Pocket Yoga, available for iOS, Android, and Windows 8. It provides step-by-step instructions and detailed pictures for poses of varying difficulties, but is limited in the number of poses and full classes it offers. Yoga Studio is a similar app with a larger library of postures. One more recently released app by EA Sports is Yogify. Read the review by our Family Fitness Expert here.

For Tabata-Style Workouts

No time? Bored of your workout? No problem. Tabata-style workouts help you bust common workout excuses, and when you only have 15 minutes and no clue what moves to do, Nike Training Club is the perfect go-to app. Available for both iOS and Android, the app provides a large library of tabata and HIIT-style workouts to choose from for beginners, intermediates, and advanced users. You can choose to get lean, toned, strong, focused, or all 4 with a 4-week program that you create. Detailed videos, built-in timers, and voice guidance get you concentrated on your form and performance. In addition to quick 15-minute workouts, there are 30-60 minute options as well. Best part? The app is free (although it does require a bit of data).

For Making Fitness Fun (and Weight-Lifting)

If you’re looking for a game-like approach to fitness to “level up in real life,” try Fitocracy. This app prides itself for being “the fitness social network” that motivates users to continuously evolve in their fitness capabilities. A large supportive community paired with points and badges (similar to ours!) awarded to each workout logged brings you up in levels in the app. The best part? A very extensive database of exercises, including videos, descriptions, and tips on how to perform them, as well as detailed analysis of your performance in these exercises over time. Although there is a larger focus on weight-lifting exercises, the community welcomes everyone. I credit this app for sparking my interest in weight-lifting, and if you are anything like me you’ll quickly find yourself motivated to try new moves and work out with the app.


This is one of the reasons why I love technology. It literally make our lives easier. Right?

Date Night with the Hubby at Barcino.

It's been awhile since we went out on a date. We've been sooo busy this summer, attending kids' activities everywhere. So finally we were so happy to be able to set a night for just the two of us. A wine and cheese night at Barcino.

And oh, we had sausages and bread too. (*wink*)

Food and the place was great. We should do this again, honey!!! ♥♥♥

Sharing a Song this SUNDAY: You Raise me Up.

Such a beautiful song and touching video. Not to mention, this is my bridal march song too. ♥

Don't stop believing. God is always there to raise you up.

Flashback FRIDAY: Boracay in 2005.

How time flies, it's 9 years since we had our honeymoon in Boracay and look at the island, it was still beautiful.

Well, Boracay is still a beauty up to now but Station 2 is waaaay different now. I hope they maintain this beauty and would last for years.

How to Create a Work-At-Home Mom Schedule by Mariel Uyquiengco

I came across another nice and useful article at MomCentre that I want to share here. Yes, the same author - Mariel Yuquiengco. Enjoy!

How to Create a Work-At-Home Mom Schedule by Mariel Uyquiengco

More and more mothers are opting to work at home. Advances in technology enable us to contribute to the family income while staying at home with our kids. While the situation seems ideal to someone looking from outside, it actually takes hard work to balance parenting and work when they share the same space. Creating and following a work-at-home mom schedule takes a lot of fine-tuning before we can truly say that we are happy with how our day goes on a day-to-day basis.

Marge Aberasturi has been a work-at-home mom (WAHM) for eight years now. Starting as a medical transcriptionist in 2006, she now offers administrative virtual assistance, technical virtual assistance, and creative virtual assistance through her own company, VA Support Pro. Here she shares with us her tips on how to make your work-at-home mom schedule work.

Know why you are at home

Marge says that the key to creating a work-at-home mom schedule is in knowing your reason for being a WAHM. As most of us tend to take the leap because of our kids, it is safe to say that like Marge, our days will be “about the kids first, the work second, and everything else down the list.”

Break down tasks

What are the things that you need to do during the day? Prepare breakfast, get kids ready for the day, attend to house chores, and of course, work are some of the things that we all need to do. Write them down one by one and categorize them.

Make your schedule

Now that you know your daily tasks, it’s time to write down a general flow of your day. Start with what is happening now. What time do the kids wake up? What time does your husband get home from work? How often do you really need to sweep the floor? Knowing the answers to these will help you in drafting your work-at-home mom schedule. Identify the time slots when you can work uninterrupted and when your kids most need your attention.

Prepare activities for the kids

If you have young kids, preparing activities for them will help occupy them during the times that youare working and they don’t want to take a nap. Books, toys, and art materials are a must. Older kids need activities too, though they are more likely to look for their own entertainment.


Our day at home with our kids can be a whirlwind of activities that can leave us breathless and exhausted. An important part of Marge’s work-at-home mom schedule, therefore, is her one hour uninterrupted TV time. Unwinding, even for just a short while during the day, can recharge our batteries.

Working at home has two parts: “working” and “at home.” Making them work together takes organization and patience. But, as Marge herself says, “WAHMing is a lifestyle” that does not have a formula. She advises moms to play everything by ear and allow for flexibility whenyou are having an out-of-sync day.Most of all, remembering why you are at home in the first place will help you decide on how to best approach your day to day life. SOURCE.

I've been a work-from-home Mom for three years and I tell you, it wasn't easy. These tips are helpful enought that maybe I could be one again someday.

Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is...

1. Quick getaway at Nuvali and Tagaytay with friends
2. Lots of help from inlaws
3. Responsible kids! Proud of them. ♥
4. Super fun 2014 summer!
5. UK and Euro trip was a success. Thank you, Lord.
6. Pictures, pictures, pictures!
7. The One by Kierra Cass, such a beautiful story
8. Kids helping out these days
9. Work
10. Friends, household and community ♥

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

Quick Healthy Dinner at Phoa

Since we (especially the kids) all love the healthy food at Phoa, we always go back here whenever we feel like it.

But, oooopppss, I know I said it was a healthy dinner, but I only was able to take a photo of our dessert.


For dinner, we had seafood noodle soup, chicken BBQ and rice. Y.U.M.!

Back at Nurture Spa and Loving It!

I went to Nurture Spa, 7 years ago and I liked their treatments so much. It was expensive though so I didn't expect to be back there. Thanks to Deal Grocer, my sister, my Mom and I was avail to get their 3-hour massage package.


I badly needed it. I was so tired from our trip 2 months ago and I haven't recovered yet. Thanks to Deal Grocer, we were able to go back.

I was surprised that Nurture Spa has expanded. They already have a lot of rooms to stay for overnight. Maybe we should try that one of these days.

Our Very Sumptuous Lunch at Pamana Restaurant

A couple of months ago, I was able to go out of town with my Mom and sister for bonding! We had a wonderful massage at Nurture Spa, (which I will posting soon) and then we had a very good lunch at Pamana Restaurant.

Since my Mom was having a vacation from US, we ate all the Filipino food all over the metro. But the one we had at Pamana Restaurant was by far our favorite! Boneless crispy pata, pinakbet, steamed fish, oh yum! The best Filipino restaurant we ever had (so far!).