Crafternoon with Bento Mommas

And Crafternoons are back!

We were finally able to convince The Bento Mommas to come to the south and offer their Bento Tutorial Classes for us in Alabang! Hooray for Bento! We had a great turnout of Mommas who want to learn how to pack fun lunches and snacks for their kiddos. Some of the Mommas are already looking forward to a second Bento class!

Thank you April, Monet, and Kaye for putting together such a lovely workshop for The Southern Belles.

Thank you April, Monet, and Kaye for putting together such a lovely workshop for The Southern Belles.

Check out the photo stream of the workshop and shopping that took place afterwards.

Tisha De Veyra, Marketing Director from GLAD explained some of the new products on the market that we can use in our Bento packing.

Tisha De Veyra, Marketing Director from GLAD  introduced some of the products on the market that we can use in our Bento packing. I was most impressed with the Press ‘N Seal wrap. It’s perfect for just using that one piece of ham or that one piece of cheese which you might cut for decorating. You put the item in the middle of the Press ‘N Seal item and literally press around the item to seal it. SO EASY. 

 

Thank you GLAD for being so generous and sharing all these great Kitchen tools with our Bento Workshop participants!

Kaye and Monette explain some of the tools that we can use to be creative.

Kaye and Monet explain some of the tools that we can use in creating bento lunches for our kids.

Kaye makes it look so easy! She showed us how much easier it is to shape the Japonica white rice using a GLAD plastic bag. Can you guess what we are making?

Kaye makes it look so easy! She showed us how to shape the Japonica white rice using a GLAD plastic bag. Can you guess what we are making?

If you guessed a rabbit, you were correct! We used bamboo picks to skewer our popcorn chicken, ham for the little bow, and we made apple rabbits under the guidance of Monette.

If you guessed a rabbit, you were correct! We used bamboo picks to skewer our popcorn chicken from Marky’s, ham for the little bow, and we made apple rabbits under the guidance of Monet.

Thanks Marky's Chicken for sponsoring our popcorn chicken for the bentos, and the delicious fried chicken for our afternoon snack! My favorite was the Soy Garlic flavor!

Thank you Mitz and Marky’s Chicken for sponsoring our popcorn chicken for the bentos, and the delicious fried chicken for our afternoon snack! My favorite flavor was Soy Garlic! We are so lucky that you are such good friends with Pat Cuyugan :-)

Kaye also taught us how to make the checkerboard apple that is common in many bento snacks I see.

Kaye also taught us how to make the checkerboard apple that is common in many bento snacks I see. She taught us how to keep the apples from turning brown by soaking them in Sprite.

The Bento Mommas come prepared. You can use all of their tools that they bring along for the workshop. I didn't have to prepare anything except tables and chairs!

The Bento Mommas come prepared. You can use all of their tools that they bring along for the workshop. I didn’t have to prepare anything except tables and chairs!

Inclusive of the fee that every participant paid was a kit. This kit is a fantastic beginners kit because it really has everything you would want to get started with your Bento Making.

Inclusive of the fee that every participant paid came a kit. This kit is full of fantastic tools you would want to get started with your Bento Making.

Our second bento was a sandwich. We used a combination of rolled out whole wheat and white bread for the contrasting colors in the sandwich.

Our second bento was a sandwich. We used a combination of rolled out whole wheat and white bread for the contrasting colors in the sandwich.

Diego would pop in every now and then from playing with his new found friends to try and help me.  Some of their moms brought their kids, and it made for an automatic play date. Say hi to Mrs. P. Cuyugan's son in the background!

Diego would pop in every now and then from playing with his new found friends to try and help me. Some of their moms brought their kids, and it made for an automatic play date. Say hi to Mrs. P. Cuyugan’s son in the background!

In Bento-you can really put anything your child will like into his sandwich. The basic principle is that you want your kid to eat well and have fun doing it. (Plus it's a creative outlet for the Moms who enjoy getting crafty in the kitchen.)

In Bento-you can really put anything your child will like into his sandwich. The basic principle is that you want your kid to eat well and have fun at the same time. (Plus it’s a creative outlet for the Moms who enjoy getting crafty in the kitchen.)

We didn't just have Moms in attendance! This little girl joined the workshop because her Mom knows that the only way to get kids to explore more foods and try new things is to have them help you make it! Congratulations Nika on making your first Bento Box Lunch!

We didn’t just have Moms in attendance! This little girl joined the workshop because her Mom knows that the only way to get kids to explore more foods and try new things is to have them help you make it! Congratulations Nica on making your Bento Box Lunches!

While we were all hard at work making our delicious and artistic creations, the boys were having fun playing together. When I was younger, before I had children...this was what I imagined my house would be like on the weekends...very similar to the house I grew up in. My mom would always have visitors that she would prepare for and entertain...it's a little bit different then what I was used to growing up...yet it's still the same-a full house, with happy people. I'm so lucky I can provide the same kinds of experiences for my children as well.

While we were all hard at work, making our delicious and artistic creations, the boys were having fun playing together. When I was younger, before I had children…this was what I imagined my house would be like on the weekends…very similar to the house I grew up in. My mom would always have visitors that she would prepare for and entertain…it’s a little bit different then what I was used to growing up…yet it’s still the same-a full house, with happy people. I’m so lucky I can provide the same kinds of experiences for my children as I had growing up.

Thank you Tabasco, Jiff, and Tree Top for supplying treats for our goody bags! I know I don't speak for myself when I say this was a nice treat!!!

Thank you Tabasco, Smuckers, and Tree Top for supplying treats for our goody bags! Gia LOVES Tabasco (We actually call her the Tabasco Queen.) and I LOVE peanut butter…the boys don’t get to drink soda so apple juice is something they know they can drink when it’s in the fridge and they don’t have to ask permission.

After packing our lunches, and while some of the Moms had a snack, others were able to take advantage of the Bento Mommas set up for their online store! Ok, I will admit that I spent just enough to satisfy my Bento Fix. Plus...I scored an awesome FROZEN themed little bento for Gellibean. Can't wait to pack it!

After packing our lunches, and while some of the Moms had a snack, others were able to take advantage of the Bento Mommas set up for their online store! Ok, I will admit that I spent just enough to satisfy my Bento Fix. Plus…I scored an awesome FROZEN themed little bento for Gellibean. Can’t wait to pack it!

 

Thanks everyone for coming and learning about how to pack fun bento boxes for your kids!

Pictured T-B L-R: Arlene, Lolet, Patty, Giselle, Belle, Becky, Me. Penny, Nica, Mika, Leslie, Mel, and Kaye.

Thanks to everyone who came and learned how to pack fun bento boxes for your kids! I’m already looking forward to the next Bento Box learning session! 

 

Bento Mommas

FB:          https://www.facebook.com/bentomommas

Twitter:  @thebentomommas

IG:       @thebentomommas @momma_makes_imbento @bentogehl  @funckey63 @mamamiabentolunch @obibento

Email:    bentomommas@gmail.com

You can visit GLAD Kitchens on Facebook :-)

Check out Marky’s Chicken on Facebook. To order for HOME DELIVERY CALL : 02-949-9869 Email franchise@markyschicken.com if you are interested in starting your own business as a franchisee of this yummy chicken.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Krispy Kreme’s Baked Creations

I can remember standing on line the first Krispy Kreme shop that we visited.

At that time- there was a buzz all about NY and the famed doughnuts from Krispy Kreme. We took two dozen doughnuts home in the white and green boxes to the boys who devoured them pretty quickly.

Years after Krispy Kreme has made their first doughnut, their menu continues to expand to provide brunch options.

Years after Krispy Kreme has made their first doughnut, their menu continues to expand; this time providing new brunch options.

Months later, when it came time to host Thanksgiving Dinner at our new place in Monroe, NY, our very good friend Bill Bish, brought over two boxes of the signature glazed treats as his contribution to our meal of thanks. I remember that day vividly too. We had a full house. Tons of food and tons of family and friends. Turkey and the fixings. Autumn Pies. Brownies. Cookies. Cake. But the doughnuts were the first dessert to go once the coffee came out! (I don’t think I had time to get them on a plate, because they were grabbed right outta the boxes!) When Bill and his wife, Malu arrived, Miggy was quite curious because Bill placed his service weapon on top of the hutch in the dining room. I think if Miggy could have climbed the hutch to see what went up there, we would’ve been in some serious trouble. Good thing he we were able to divert his interests to the yummy KK doughnuts instead.

This boy still has the same heartwarming smile. The only difference is now he likes to come with me to the different events that I get invited to.

This boy still has the same heartwarming smile and the same love of doughnuts and treats. I love that we get to spend one on one time together for events like this.

Fast forward, years later when Krispy Kreme entered the Philippine Market (in 2006) on Bonifacio High Street. As a family, we would line up outside their flagship store whenever we saw Hot Light on! That would be the ultimate excuse to indulge in the sweet treats with the kids. The kids would get to eat a doughnut on the spot while it was still warm and gooey, and I would take home a whole box (sometimes two) that would be untouched because the kids would get their doughnut fix while waiting on line to pay.

But as many of you know already, Krispy Kreme isn’t just about doughnuts anymore. They have great coffee (and well trained baristas, like MJ) and delicious Baked Creations as well. With an extensive menu that boasts, pull aparts, kruffins, bread, and new deLite doughnuts that offer less sugar and less calories for a healthier version of their doughnuts, everyone will be happy (or joyous) with the choices they now offer their customers.

 

Krispy Kreme barista, MJ Onyot, invented this Mocha Con Oreo hot drink, which took FIRST place in the world KK Barista Competition! 

Thanks MJ! I enjoyed hearing your kuwentos about the competition!

Thanks MJ! I enjoyed hearing your kwentos (stories) about the competition!

Take a look at their new Baked Creations and see if you can’t find one that fits your taste :-)

A simple danish pastry sprinkled with Krispy Kreme sugar coating.

A simple danish pastry sprinkled with Krispy Kreme sugar coating.

Sweet dough bread topped with creamy custard.

Sweet dough bread topped with creamy custard.

A light, classic French bread with a slightly sweet taste

A light, classic French bread with a slightly sweet taste 

Klassic Brioche with bellpepper, farmers ham, and cheddar cheese.

Klassic Brioche with  bell pepper, farmers ham, and cheddar cheese.

Cube Bread

A light and slightly sweet fluffy bread filled with chocolate ganache.

Camembert filled bread, topped with walnuts and served with a honey tube to drizzle.

Camembert filled sweet dough bread, topped with roasted walnuts and served with a honey tube to drizzle.

Miggy and I got to try all the different Baked Creations together, last Saturday during their launch in their ATC branch. While Mig enjoyed the Ham and Cheese Brioche, my favorite was the Camembert and Honey! (Go figure…the Cheese Momster chose a cheesy version!) We thoroughly enjoyed tasting all of the different types of Baked Creations AND we were able to take some De-Lite Doughnuts home!

The top four doughnuts are from the NEW De-Lite choices from KK.

The Snickerdoodle and Classic Cinnamon flavors are the NEW De-Lite choices from KK. (Pictured here with the Glazed doughnuts.)

 As a special treat, Krispy Kreme has given me The Brunchies Card. This entitles the card holder to one special Brunch treat EVERY DAY (with a small coffee) for AN ENTIRE MONTH. All you have to do is go into any participating branch with your card to receive your FREE Baked Creation and a Coffee. It’s valid from July 14th to October 31st and cannot be used in conjunction with other offers. You have to make sure to visit the store of your choice before 2pm though, so be mindful of the time!

All you have to do is bring in your The Brunchies Card and your One Month Supply Card to claim your brunch every morning from Krispy Kreme!

All you have to do is bring in your The Brunchies Card and your One Month Supply Card to claim your brunch every morning from Krispy Kreme!

All you have to do to enter for a chance to win this card is

1) Like The Krispy Kreme Philippines FB page.  (https://www.facebook.com/krispykremeph) 

2) Follow me on twitter. (@mommanmanila)

3) Leave a comment on the blog as to why you love Brunch and who you will share your FREE Brunchies with.

4) Tweet “@HotLightGirl’s NEW #bakedcreations are perfect for Brunch! I want to win a #Brunchies card from @mommanmanila”

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

 

 

 

 

Oreo Transformers Contest: WIN a trip to UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

There are lots of things we like to DO TOGETHER as a family.

We like to watch movies TOGETHER.

We like to road trip TOGETHER.

We like to ride bikes TOGETHER.

We like to cook up some goodness in the kitchen TOGETHER.

Which means, we like to EAT what we cook (or even go out to eat) TOGETHER.

Heck, we even play and compete with one another on different apps on our electronic devices too.

Back in June, Oreo invited some of the SoMoms to a private screening for Transformers 4 Age of Extinction. We love the whole series of Transformers, despite the reviews that many people were giving this sequel to the robotic action packed movies, we were all still looking forward to an action packed night.

 

 The kids were looking forward to this movie treat the entire week, and I was looking forward to the night off from cooking and some fun with the kids. Nino couldn’t join us because he had some other things to take care of, but we promised him we would have enough fun for all of us. I don’t think Gellibean is ready for a movie yet, (especially one that is so loud) so she stayed home with Dad. We grabbed a quick dinner and headed over to Resorts World for the special OREO screening! 

Optimus and Bumblebee were available for photo opportunities. SoMoms Roll-out...

Optimus and Bumblebee were available for photo opportunities. SoMoms Roll-out…(L-R Tina, Thammie, and Neva)

There were treats galore for everyone in attendance! We all got goody bags filled with the new OREO flavors! The kids were already claiming dibs on their favorites.

Each of us got a goody bag filled with OREOS!

Each of us got a goody bag filled with OREOS! The kids were already calling dibs on their favorite flavors.

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Are you beginning to see the Berry Prime and Fruit Creme theme running throughout the course of the night?

Before the movie started, we learned all about the new contest running on the NEW Oreo Better Together Website.

Experience of a lifetime

Click on the picture to be taken to the website game. 

Oreo and Transformers have teamed up to give a lucky family the experience of a LIFETIME. One family of four will win a trip to Universal Studios, in Hollywood, California! The trip will be an action packed vacation for 4 days and 3 nights with the lucky winners going all the way to the United States for Oreo and Transformer Fun!

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Look for the NEW flavors Prime Berry Creme and Action Fruit Creme in your local supermarkets.

Mechanics are simple. Look for the Oreo Limited Edition TRANSFORMERS4 packs in your local grocery store. Bring your Prime Berry Creme and Action Fruit Creme Oreos home, and look for the bar code on the back of these special promo packs of cookies. Visit the website, register with your complete details, and enter the code to play The Lab Grab Game. 

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This is what the sticker pack looks like. Flip it over and you will see the code.

Once you enter the code you will be allowed to play The Lab Grab game and automatically entered for a chance to win prizes. If you buy the Transformers4 Oreos SPECIAL FLAVORS you enter to win a chance for the vacation every time you play the game with your special code. If you buy the regular vanilla and chocolate flavored Oreos, use the promo code on the back of the sticker pack. You enter to win a chance at a winning a Transformers rolling trolley or a Transformers tumbler every time you play the game with your special code from the vanilla and chocolate flavored cookies.

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Of course Diego is so super excited to play the Lab Grab Game now that he knows we can win a vacation for the family. His concern was that we are a family of 6 and the prize is for a family of 4…I told him that if we win-we would cross that bridge when we come to it…That is what I call a happy problem!

When you visit the website there are four main tabs you can explore. The last one I want to tell you about is the #OreoDIT app.  This app is perfect for young families! Remember I was telling you earlier in my post that we even like to play on different apps together as a family? Well, aside from competing in 2048 and Two Dots (our favorites as of now), we can also complete the activities in the Oreo DO IT TOGETHER app. 

 

Download the app for FREE. There are different activities to complete within each SET. When you complete an activity, you also have the opportunity to take pictures which you can turn into a Memory Book that can be printed later. After you complete each set, you earn a BADGE, and the more badges you earn the more likely you are to win different Oreo prizes. There is even a SPOTLIGHT feature where you can check out the latest OREO Activities and Events in your area that you can DO TOGETHER as a family! 

Doing things TOGETHER doesn’t always have to be something extraordinary, in fact most of the time, it’s the mundane moments that we will remember even after the kids have grown up and gone off to college. (Those are the moments, that I have heard we miss the most.) Something as simple as having cookies and milk together after school with my kids is an exercise I value whether I bake the cookies or not. Going to the movies is another activity we love, and with the help of the new Oreo Do It Together App we can find fun new simple ideas to bond, connect, and have fun as a family. 

Now…if we win the Oreo Transformers Contest??? And we get to go to Universal Studios??? Hmmmmm, I think that would definitely be a memory the kids would remember forever…

 

Pure Basics

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Gelli in her stretchy pants and my favorite Pure Basics Tee. (Photo Credit: Jen Rivera)

As many of you know, Gelli has started school already. I’m still deciding on how many days a week she will attend, as it’s a bit hard for this Momma to adjust to the idea that she will be gone for more than two and half hours on school days. I’m late to start the school year with her as I wasn’t quite sure that I wanted to send her already. In fact, I brought her for the trial class upon the insistence of my friend Tet thinking that we would just try it out and see what happened.

Well, she LOVED it. She did well, she was totally ready, and she surprised her Momma once again. (I love it when she surprises me, by the way.) This means that I have to play catch up with all the things that I need to prepare for Gelli’s school days.

 One thing about sending a toddler to preschool is dressing her appropriately. Of course, I sent Gelli to school the first day in her black Mary Janes  with ruffled socks and a cute dress. While she looked adorable, it wasn’t the outfit I would dress her in to explore and play her way through a school day ALL the time. This is why the second day I prepared an outfit which I knew she would be comfortable in, and that would be conducive to exploring through play. 

But as we begin our first week of school, I have my check list of items to add to Gelli’s wardrobe which will enable her to have a good time in school and have fun learning in the process. This means that we will be adding lots of stretchy pants and comfy tees to add to her school “uniform.” 

 

That’s when I thought of her Pure Basics tees we received from Carly and Jenny. 

Pure Basics was born out of Carla and Jenny’s love for their children. They saw that while there were quite a few organic choices of clothing for adults here in the Philippines, there were very few choices for organic children’s clothing. Together, they set out to create “quality basic essentials that provide the best option for babies, parents and the environment.” I love that these two Mompreneurs put the love and passion for their children (and parenthood) into something greater than themselves. Even with the philosophy that they live by, you can see that the mindfulness with which they raise their children is apparent in their business as well.

- No act is too small

Every little bit goes a long way.  What you can contribute today, whether its spending more time with your child, recycling, or a random act of kindness is already a step towards a bigger and better goal.

Flyer - Final Back

Every little step goes into caring for Mother Earth too. And by using organic products (no matter what they are) you doing your part to help too. Buying Pure Basics organic clothing for your kiddos means you are making mindful decisions in dressing your kids and caring for the environment.

Bamboo fiber is a wise choice for many different reasons. It’s biodegradable, renewable and can be grown without pesticides. I think that one of the reasons I love this brand EVEN MORE is that with every purchase you make-YOU are making a contribution to WWF!

Now that I have added Pure Basic Tees to my list of things to buy for Gelli’s first month of preschool, our next task will be to get her on the road to being potty trained.  I have never wanted to rush any of my kids in making the transition from diapers to underwear, so I have usually taken the cue from each of the kids.

Training Pants  copy

Training Pants sold in boxes of three for P1,195.00.

All of the big kids have told me that they were ready to potty train in different ways. When they gave me the sign, I knew that it was the time to begin training. Gelli has yet to express this desire on her own, but since she is starting school already, I’m thinking that we might need to get started soon.  One way I can do this with her that won’t be traumatic is by transitioning to training pants when we are ready.

I had not known the ins and outs of cloth diapering before I met The SoMoms, but I now, understand the premise behind it. Of course, all natural and organic is better for your child…but in this case cloth diapering is again, better for the environment as well. 

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Photo Credit: Bamboo Dappy

Did you know that it takes 250 years for a regular disposable diaper to decompose? When I read that on the Dappy site, I WAS SHOCKED! How could I not have known this? 

 

While, I will let Gelli decide on her own time when she is ready for big girl panties, I can use the training pants from Bamboo Dappy as we begin our journey. These are perfect for Gelli because they feel like real underpants but can absorb like a cloth diaper in case she has an accident. 

I’m thinking that we will start this journey towards another milestone very soon. Because I’m already armed with some of the best tools (and now a greater understanding of how much better it is for the environment) I feel better about trying to reach this goal with Gelli.

Pure Basics is available in Babyland (all branches) and Rustans. (Shangri-la and Makati)

http://purebasics.ph/

https://www.facebook.com/purebasics

email: purebasicsph@gmail.com

 jenny@purebasics.com

carla@purebasics.com

Bamboo Dappy is available in Babyland, Rustans, and SM Baby Company (all branches).

http://dappydiapers.com

http://www.facebook.com/bamboodappylove

Packing Lunches with Klean Kanteen

Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries on Instagram about the kind of containers I use to pack my kids lunches. I figured I would take this opportunity to share my fab finds for my kiddos when it comes to lunch packing.

I try to be conscientious with the items I buy for my kids. Whether it’s what they eat, what they wear, or the toys they play with, I try and provide items for them that I know are safe and healthy.

This is why when I pack their lunches for school each morning I do my best to make as much of it from scratch as I can. I like sweets and baked treats, so they do get some sweets in their lunchbox, but as much as possible I like them to come from our own kitchen. 

This level of care and concern doesn’t only come in the form of the food I serve them. I also consider the container. While I pack their snacks and lunches in their Easy Lunch Boxes, I make sure their water (yes-only water) is safe to drink by packing it in their Klean Kanteens. “God’s juice” is my drink of preference for their water bottles.

 
 A typical morning for me includes preparing their lunches and serving a nutritious breakfast with a little help from their yaya. She preps some ingredients for me based on what I plan to pack from the night before. Now, I’m even more excited because I get to pack a little snack for Gellibean because she just started preschool.

Why do I use these containers to pack their lunches? 

It’s better for the environment. These containers come home every day with them. We wash them, and pack them for the next day. By doing this, we are not contributing to the pollution that would occur if I sent them a new plastic bottle of water every day, and a brown paper lunch bag, that I bought from the store. It’s just another small way to take care of Mother Earth. I have taught my kids (even my yoga students) about pollution and doing their part to keep Mother Earth clean.

Easy Lunchboxes

  • BPA, Lead, Vinyl, PVC, Phthalates FREE
  • They are safe for the dishwasher, freezer & microwave.
  • 3 different compartments to keep food from mixing together
  • Easy to stack and store
  • Perfect size for the snacks & lunch

 

Awhile back, my friend Jen, posted this (amongst others) pic about how happy she was with her Klean Kanteen. When we were on a yoga retreat together, I remember asking her about it and she shared how happy she was with her new stainless steel water bottle and how it was her new constant companion (next to her Manduka mat) in her yoga practice.

I decided to look into it and realized that she picked up her new found friend for her practice at Certified Calm.

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I took the opportunity to visit Certified Calm to pick up my water bottles for the kids during their SALE!!! (Y’all know I love a good sale.)

I’ve been visiting Certified Calm for some time now. They have everything I need when it comes to my yoga practice, but in this case, they also carry the water bottles I prefer when packing my kids lunches. 

Klean Kanteen

  • 18/8 stainless steel. FOOD GRADE.
  • BPA, Lead, Phthalates, toxin FREE
  • Large mouth opening allows for ice cubes to be added
  • Electropolished interior does not retain or impart flavors
  • Rounded seams and corners make it easy to clean, nothing is left behind.
  • The variety of different accessories for these bottles makes this the perfect choice for a “mom on the go” with four kids, like me.
There are different sizes, styles, and colors...which makes it easy to pick a bottle that fits your personality and your needs.

There are different sizes, styles, and colors…which makes it easy to pick a bottle that fits your personality and your needs. 

I always try to pick things out for the kids that are similar but not identical. They are enthusiastic about their ownership of things, so to solve any problems and future fights I picked out three bottles in the same size but different colors.

Choosing the cap that works best for you is easy with so many choices. Pictured here is the stainless bamboo version.

Choosing the cap that works best for you is easy with so many options. Pictured here is the stainless version.

I chose the silicone spout which has a 25% higher flow rate when compared with others.

I opted for the silicone spout which has a 25% higher flow rate when compared with others. This lunch packing day was when Ate was at home for the day because she was sick. Two lunches consist of brown rice, pork chops with gravy, home made oatmeal cookies, fresh fruit, yogurt and cheese bites.

These are perfect for Gellibean! I have to make a trip back to Certified Calm BGC to pick one up for her this week! OMG. She's in preschool already!

These are perfect for Gellibean! I have to make a trip back to Certified Calm BGC to pick one up for her this week! OMG. She’s in preschool already!

Got Milk? YES! They even make baby bottles! Is this too cute or what?

Got Milk? YES! They even make baby bottles! Is this too cute or what?

I do tons and tons for my kids. Happily. But I also like to do things for myself too. And picking up this insulated Klean Kanteen (IN PURPLE) makes me happy. I can use it in my yoga practice, and when I throw the coffee lid accessory on top of it, I can use it for my coffee (taken black) every morning as well. The good thing about this canister is that when I drink my ice cold water during my practice (it keeps water cold for up to 24 hours) it doesn’t taste like my coffee…even if I washed it out just minutes before I leave for the studio. (It also keeps my coffee hot for hours as well.)

I usually sit in the lanai for a little while every morning, after I have packed the kids' lunches and sent them off for school. It's like my quiet time meditation before I start my day.

I usually sit in the lanai for a little while every morning, after I have packed the kids’ lunches and sent them off for school. It’s like my quiet time meditation before I start my day.

You can find Easy Lunchboxes on their website. The site also has ideas for healthy lunch packing. You can find Klean Kanteen at Certified Calm (Shang Edsa & Two Parkade), Rustans, Howards, R.O.X., Bikram Yoga Alabang, and Bliss Yoga Manila. For email inquiries write to info@certifiedcalm.com.

Happy Packing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uniforms by Neat Nanny

I love Facebook for a bunch of different reasons.

I love it because I can connect with friends and family who live so far from Manila.

I also love it because I can find things that might interest me that are close to home…this is actually true for all of social media. I remember when I first joined twitter. My whole world opened up and I suddenly felt so much smarter because all I had to do was search a topic with a hashtag and I could find a ton of current pieces or opinions on that particular topic to read up on.

So the beauty of Facebook works like this:  if your friend “likes” a page, and you subscribe to that person’s updates, you will see what she “likes.” So, when my teacher friend (who used to work at the kids’ school previously) “liked” Neat Nanny, I was intrigued.

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I found Neat Nanny online when Teacher Wella liked the page before me.

When I visited their Facebook page, I browsed the pics and saw that Diane, (the mompreneur behind the brand) put some thought into the designs. I liked the different happy colors and the simple patterns that she incorporated into the clean and yes, in fact, NEAT designs for the Nannies who will don her uniforms.

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Diane shared on an IG post of mine that her yayas also wear the Poppins designs.

 

I like the fact that the uniforms are not so expensive. I feel like when I do buy uniforms I buy and then the helpers are not really happy with what I choose. I find if I involve them by letting them choose the style, they are usually much more apt to wear it, and feel good in it. We all know that we feel better in something when we really like it. 

Diane has made it really easy to figure out the sizing for your helpers.

Diane has made it really easy to figure out the sizing for your helpers. Please note that scrubs were laid flat (unworn) when measurements were taken. Pants for all scrubs are garterized so it fits about 5-6 inches more when fully extended.

Diane can also put together different kits based on your yaya’s needs. You just have to ask and she can ship it directly to your door. I appreciate the thought and process that a mompreneur follows. She is usually very practical, creating a business that comes from her own need or the needs of her children. And because SHE has that need, she knows that other moms have the same needs as well. 

After my girls wore their uniforms, I asked for their feedback. They both really liked the colors and said that they would like me to order more. Perfect! Win-Win. Everyone’s happy and everyone looks “Neat.”

If you would like to contact Neat Nanny you can check them out on Facebook, Instagram, or neatnanny.shopify.com. You can also shoot an email to neatnannyph@gmail.com or call and text 0917 312 7314.

#BetterMe with Coach Pia: Valuing the Fathers in our Lives

I missed the last two #BetterMe sessions with Coach Pia because I had other commitments. I really value The SoMoms’ time with her because our meetings always provide great insight for me and my relationships. This particular session was sponsored not only by The One Core, but also by Seda Hotel in BGC.

 

Of course, I value Nino’s contribution to our family as the father of my children…even if, I’m not so demonstrative about it. When I was dating, I remember my mother saying to me that the boy I end up marrying should love me more than I love him. As a young girl, I never understood the logic in that statement. It never made sense to me. Ideally, I wanted to find a love that was equal, that was both nurturing for me as it would be for my future husband. When I questioned my mother about this statement, her explanation to me was more than intriguing. 

She shared that throughout your entire marriage, your husband will do things for you. He will do things for your children, and he will do things for your family. If he is a good man, and you chose well, then you will fall in love with him more and more as each day passes. With each act of love you will fall in love with him again. This is why…she said, that he needs to love you MORE than you love him…because as time passes…you will love him more too…

I never thought that made sense…UNTIL Nino and I were blessed with children. It was through his “Fatherhood,” that I learned even more about my husband…that (yes, Mom you were correct, yet again) I could fall in love with him over and over again…I just don’t know if it is necessary to marry a man who “loves you more.” I would like to think that maybe Nino has fallen in love with me over and over again, perhaps when he sees me with our children as well…

Our session (in conjunction with the recent passing of Father’s Day) provided me with some great take aways for me to appreciate Nino in a more concrete way…and also helped me realize that maybe sometimes I might expect a bit too much when I could be a little more understanding.

Prior to beginning the formal lecture of the topic at hand, Coach Pia pointed out some major differences in the way Moms and Dad do things.  She asked us simple questions:

What do Dads want?

  • Based on a survey of American parents, Dads would much rather receive a gift to open on Father’s Day. This means that they would enjoy opening up gifts of electronics, toys, techie gadgets, and even tools.

What do Moms want?

  • In that same survey it was clear that Moms prefer a more experiential gift for Mother’s Day. This could even be a gift for the whole family to experience together, like spending quality time together or going out for a nice meal.

During this introduction, Coach Pia pointed out that the energy to produce funds is different than the energy to raise children. This little reminder helped me temper my expectations, because Nino is the primary bread winner for our family. Recognizing that the financial stability and security of our family is a huge load to carry helps me understand the time that Nino needs to unwind at the end of the day.

Seda Hotels in BGC was our food and venue sponsor for this Better Me session.

Seda Hotels in BGC was our food and venue sponsor for this Better Me session.

Coach Pia highlighted  10 key points for us  and it was through our discussions as a group that we formulated our own ways to contribute and help our partners be better fathers as well.

1. Fathers powerfully teach through actions. Actions Speak Louder Than Words. I have always been a firm believer that children learn by what we do, and not necessarily by what we say. But this also lies in the fact that Moms rely heavily on their words…Dads just DO it.

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2. They provide natural strength and stability. “Good Dad, Good Coping Skills for Children.” -Kathleen Doheny  Just having Dad around is already a good thing. Quality time with dad also reinforces their understanding of right and wrong. (Plus Nino is really stronger than me…physically and it’s different to be hugged by someone who is really strong.)

3. Knowing about Dad’s experiences and hearing his stories are powerful as a child. This is important for young kids and big kids alike. Having an understanding of what it was like for your Dad growing up is vital for a child to make sense of many things in his life. A story comes to mind right now…Nino shared a story about his friend in high school who was under the influence of drugs and got into a car accident. His friend didn’t make it…but it drives the point home when we discuss getting mixed up in the wrong crowd and what that means to our children.

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Checking out the rooms with Jenny and Tiffany.

4. “Father’s Model Basic Values to their Children.” I think as a whole, men see the black and white…the right and the wrong…I imagine it like he draws the imaginary line in the sand…The kids also know that I take all things into consideration…that sometimes I let them slide based on a given situation, and yes-they also know that I believe in shades of grey which is probably why they try and debate more with me about certain things.

5. The Love Dad provides is priceless. The nurturance from Dad is unique. Yes. Exactly. 

6. Dad’s presence provides specific self worth. Not having Dad around results in low self esteem. “If Dad is absent, he is bad. Then by genetics…because I’m part of him…I’m bad also.” This means that our children are directly connected to us…they identify who they are, based on who they think WE are…if they think their Dad (or their MOM) is bad…they, themselves, are bad because they come from him (or her). I have seen this in real life. I have had friends who questioned who they were based on some of the things that their parents did or are. This makes sense to me, but it may be hard to swallow.  

7. Children learn the value of respect and service from Dad. “In raising boys, they learn to be a man through their interaction with a father figure.” -Alan Schwartz (psychologist) Sons need to spend one on one time with their Dads. This also makes sense to me…just like my daughters will learn what it is to be a woman through my example. 

8. Dad’s celebrate victories. He builds up your child’s individuality.  I am remembering a quote from a movie right about now. “There’s one thing every little kid knows. Daddies mean fun; mommies mean business.”  -Diane from Honey I Blew Up the Kid. Diego has pointed this fact out to me and I have come to accept this as a fact…but it’s also important for me to have fun sometimes too. Kids need to hear their Moms laugh too…

9. Interaction with Dad has impact on future sexual activity, drinking problems, drug use, suicidal tendencies, emotional distress and uncooperative kids. (80% of child psychiatric patients came from fatherless homes.-Journal of Academy & Adolescent Psychiatry) This is huge. SO HUGE. But Nino and I knew this. While Gia was still a baby in my belly, we made a deal that he would spend time with her. Daddy and Gia time…Just the two of them. As our family grew, he realized that he needed to spend time with each of the boys as well. We have both found that when we take time for each of the kids (I date each of the kids as well.) we realize that there is less acting out, less misbehaving, and more understanding of one another…for the whole family. 

10. Dads balance Moms out. Well, I have always said that Nino is my yang to my yin. But, in relation to this, I think we balance each other out…most especially in our parenting styles.

So-with all of these key points…how do we help the fathers of our children participate in parenting?

It’s actually pretty simple when you think about it. The following five points are ways we can help our husbands or partners be the best fathers they can be.

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L-R, T-B Didi, Patty, Tiffany, Chessy, Tin, and Abie
Didi’s big girl, Coach Pia, me, Jen and Kris

  • Be deliberate about Co-Parenting. Work toward REAL teamwork.
  • Focus on the well being of the child and not the emotional ties (of mom OR dad.) Speak to each other in private so you know what you are afraid of passing on.
  • Give Dad a chance! Blaming is NOT an option. Let go of how things are done and focus on the big picture. (Trust your partner and try not to micro manage.)
  • Include him ALWAYS…
  • STAY POSITIVE. (Don’t mention his faults in front of kids.)

 

Seda Hotels are located in BGC, Cagayan De Oro, Davao, and Nuvali. Seda, made for the modern traveler, is the only hotel wholly-owned by AyalaLand. Because it is an urban lifestyle hotel, guests will find the amenities they need, but will be happy with convenience of location, service, and value for money. Seda BGC, which is the flagship of the group is made for the business travelers who are visiting the multinational companies near by. From paperless check-in, complimentary wifi, and touch screen tablets that can be used en route from the airport to the hotel, Seda offers guest uninterrupted connectivity for seamless service with Filipino hospitality.

 Seda Hotel BGC

30th Street corner 11th Avenue
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
T: (632) 9458888 or (632) 5885700 
F: (632) 9458891
Email: bgc@sedahotels.com
 

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The One Core offers life coaching sessions and courses on personal development. Coach Pia offers Free Learning Sessions every second Tuesday of the month in Fully Booked on High Street in BGC. If you have the time, I would seriously suggest attending the next session.

The OneCORE

Unit 302, MQI Centre
E.Abada cor R. Alvero Sts.
Loyola Heights, Quezon City 
F: (632) 436-4143
Email: contact@theonecore.com

 

Gelli’s First Day of Preschool

Diego: I want Gelli to go to a special school where she has all special classmates.

Me: I think it’s a better if she goes to a typical school with typical classmates. She is only in preschool now, so she might enjoy it more.

Diego:  But if she goes to a regular school, then I have to be there. Because I don’t want anyone to make fun of her. They might make fun of her, Mom.

Cue TEARS.

Diego’s love for his sister is FIERCE. He wants to protect her…to shelter her…to be with her always…and I LOVE THAT. But, I also know that Gelli can do this and that she is ready for the next phase of her toddler days.

 If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, then you know that we reached a huge milestone on Monday. I had planned with my friend Tetet, to bring Gellibean in for a trial at The Little Apprentice.  I shared my concerns with Tet. She’s a good friend and has actually been telling me for months to bring Gelli in already. But I think she also knows that Gelli is the last baby, and that this Momma is holdin’ on as long as she can to that last baby at home-feeling…

She did totally fine….as in TOTALLY FINE…and my heart is full…I didn’t even cry (tears of gratitude) until I spoke to Nino about it later that night, when the kids were sleeping, and we were discussing the events of our day. Here is my photo stream of her first (and second) day at school that filled my heart.

It was nice that Daddy was able to join us for her first day.

It was nice that Daddy was able to join us for her first day.

She felt right at home in her new classroom and started counting circles to pass the time.

She felt right at home in her new classroom and started counting circles to pass the time.

Teacher Boom was actually surprised that this was Gelli's first time in a classroom setting.

Teacher Boom was actually surprised that this was Gelli’s first time in a classroom setting.

Still counting...she was going around the classroom before the other students arrived. She was particularly fond of the rainbow in the room.

Still counting…she was going around the classroom before the other students arrived. She was particularly fond of the rainbow in the room.

Since she is familiar with puzzles, it was the first toy she brought out from the shelves.

Since she is familiar with puzzles, it was the first toy she brought out from the shelves.

When her classmates arrived, they started the routine of the day. First activity: Circle Time!

When her classmates arrived, they started the routine of the day. First activity: Circle Time!

After a coloring and gluing activity where the children reinforced their understanding of the color red, they had snack. Gelli thought she could take advantage of the time to read while eating...

After a coloring and gluing activity where the children reinforced their understanding of the color red, they had snack. Gelli thought she could take advantage of the time to read while eating…

One of the things I love most about TLA is their outdoor playground. Not many preschools in Manila have one...

One of the things I love most about TLA is their outdoor playground. Not many preschools in Manila have one…

On her second day of school, she was feeling pretty at home. Gosh, she looks so pretty here.

On her second day of school, she was feeling pretty at home. Gosh, she looks so pretty here.

On her second day at preschool, I remembered how they played and dressed her accordingly...time to do a little shopping for the school girl! Stretchy pants and sneakers a must!! (especially if your girl likes to do splits like Gelli.)

I remembered how they played and dressed her accordingly for the next day. I think it’s time to do a little shopping for the school girl! Stretchy pants and sneakers a must!! (especially if your girl likes to do splits like Gelli.)

After a full morning, my little Gellibean couldn't keep her eyes open anymore...keep in mind our house is only 5 minutes away from school!!! She is all tuckered out!

After a full morning, my little Gellibean couldn’t keep her eyes open anymore…keep in mind our house is only 5 minutes away from school!!! She is all tuckered out!

I don’t think I could be any more pleased than I was at the end of the second day of her trial…see that little smile in this sleepy selfie with baby girl? That’s only a fraction of what I was feeling on the inside. Happiness. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orly Blush Collection 2014 and Cupcakes with Sophie’s Mom

Blush Collection with Coffee and Cupcakes...What a great way to start my Saturday of bonding with my girl.

The Orly Blush Collection with Coffee and Cupcakes…What a great way to start my Saturday of bonding with my girl.

Of the many different ways Gia and I like to bond,  we have a few favorites.

Orly8We love to bake and eat sweets, and we love to pamper ourselves. We really value our girl time together. So this is why we were looking forward to our Orly Mother Daughter Pampering Date at Sophie’s Mom in McKinley Hill.

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Natural Colors that tender and feminine:  from L-R Naked Canvas (Nude with Pink Pearl), Cheeky (Peach Shimmer), First Blush (Coral Crème), Dare to Bare (Taupe Crème), Classic Contours (Mauve Crème), Flawless Flush (Cool Lilac w/Gold Shimmer). Screen shot taken from Orly PH FB page

We both blocked off our entire Saturday so we could spend the day together.

With Fleur

We were happy to be spending time with fellow SoMoms Fleur and Jackie and their daughters as well.

I learned from Tonette, who is "Sophie's Mom" that she started this business with the help of her daughter. They actually started out by selling Mochi in one of the Assumption Fairs!

I learned from Tonette, who is “Sophie’s Mom” that she started this business with the help of her daughter, (yes, you guessed it) Sophie. They actually started out by selling mochi in an Assumption Fair!

Tonette’s daughter, Sophie, is known for loving everything and anything Japanese. So together they decided that they would sell their Japanese Mochi Ice Cream at the Assumption Fair.  When they sold out all their Mochi before 12nn on the first day of the fair, Tonette found herself scrambling and baking cupcakes, just so that they would still have something to sell for the duration of the fair. This was back in 2010, and since then their business has expanded to sell delicious treats such as Truffled Mochi, Frozen Braso Ice Cream and of course the cupcakes that they are very well known for. Tonette shared how she and her daughters all play a part in the business. Sophie helps with product photos (and recently got into blogging as well), Steph helps with the running of the stores, and Sam likes to come up with the smoothie recipes. (Sam has been known to make a mean ice candy as well.)

We took advantage of the sweets that were on the dessert table, once our nails were dry.

We took advantage of the sweets that were on the dessert table, once our nails were dry.

Tonette would like to see more people utilize the space in her McKinley location. She envisions a “Crave, Create, and Celebrate” type of atmosphere in her bake shop that serves savories as well if that’s what pleases your palate.

Gia super loved the colors from the collection prior to BLUSH. Baked is a collection that was released earlier this summer.

Gia super loved the colors from the collection prior to BLUSH. Baked is a collection that was released earlier this summer. These colors are in stark contrast to the natural colors of the Blush Collection, but they are perfect for a teenager like Gia.

But what was most pleasing for me and Gia was the time we spent together being pampered and having our nails done with a quality polish that we know very well. Orly is a fast drying polish (We need that if we are on the go!) that applies well with two coats, and is safe to use even on pregnant women.

With Orly Brand Manager, Jackie Dyecho, and Marketing Assistant, Clarisse Lacanlale.

With Orly Brand Manager, Jackie Dyecho, and Marketing Assistant, Clarisse Lacanlale. 

Great Minds think alike...Jackie, Fleur, and I all decided that Dare to Bare was the color of choice.

I love how light and fresh the colors are…they are muted but with enough color that won’t clash or attract too much attention.

Orly lacquer is free of DBP, Toluene,  and Formaldehyde. The polish is known for the easy to use Gripper Cap, and  provides streak-free coverage. It is also formulated with UV inhibitors to prevent fading and yellowing. This means it’s safe for everyone to use. Yes, safety is important…most especially with anything you put on your body, and this includes nail polish as well.

Orly 7Moms and daughters together: Me and Gia, Fleur and Anika, Marjorie and her Mom, Jackie and Gabbie, and Tonette, owner of Sophie’s Mom. 

The Blush and Baked Collections are available full retail for only P385.00 per bottle. You can find Orly Nail Lacquers and treatments at all PUREBEAUTY stores. (Serendra, Trinoma, ATC, Harbor Point Subic, Landmark, Robinson’s, Gaisano, and PCX outlets.)

Call 903-0476 for more information on all ORLY products or visit the ORLY PH facebook page, and Instagram account.

 

 

 

 

 

Lysol Giveaway

Hooray for happy homes, cleaning, and organizing.

Hooray for sweeping away the dust, dirt and grime and for cleaning up all those germs with Lysol.

In case you didn’t know, Lysol recently launched two new scents that are perfect for the home, the bathroom, and the baby’s room. 

Follow the Rafflecopter Steps at the end of the post to win this gift pack from Lysol Philippines.

Follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget at the end of the post to win this gift pack from Lysol Philippines. Lysol is sharing their new scents Baby’s Room and Fresh Blossom with a lucky reader!

I have always trusted Lysol. I’m a big fan of their wipes (I have a canister in every bathroom) and when someone is sick in the house, I have been known to wipe down the phones, the kitchen counter, and the door knobs (repeatedly) just for safety.

The #SoMoms recently had a #BetterMe session with #CoachPia that was sponsored by Lysol, and even if I wasn’t able to attend, they let me know that they wanted to share this gift pack with one of my lucky readers! 

Lysol liquid hand soap, if used effectively will kill 99.9% of bacteria that causes the flu, the common cold, and diarrhea. Not only is the liquid hand soap fresh and clean with each pump, it’s also safe to use every day. The new Fresh Blossom and Baby Room scents sprays leave you with little to worry about when disinfecting, even during rainy season.

Check out the give away through the Rafflecopter widget and don’t forget to like the Lysol Philippines page on FACEBOOK! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway