Mickey Mouse and Melaware

I enjoy packing Gellibean’s snacks for school. 

I enjoy it even more, when her snack box comes home empty.

Here are some cute snacks that I was able to put together for her using some really convenient items in my kitchen! I believe that if we spend a lot of time in the kitchen, we should make our lives easier by using items and appliances to make it fun and easy.

If you know Melaware, you probably know them for items like these in your kitchen:

These items are a staple in the kitchen when you have kids.

These items are a staple in the kitchen when you have kids.

Dishes and plates like these are usually the first to be used when you have a toddler! Gelli loves her Frozen themed plates and uses them almost every day. And since she is a toddler in the habit of throwing everything after she is done eating? Well, I’m not so worried that when the plates go flying they will shatter into a hundred pieces.

But I bet you didn’t know that Melaware also makes stuff like this:

IMG_3525 copy

This super easy to use silicone pan pops the banana muffins out with EASE. As in…I have never done anything easier. I think I should switch everything over to silicone! (Plus this banana muffin recipe is so super easy, too.)

So that makes it even easier for me to pack lunches like these: 

IMG_3574 copy

 

On this particular snack day Gelli gets chicken and waffles reinvented. I used the Mickey Mouse cookie cutter from Melawares to cut the waffles into a cute shape which goes a long with the banana muffin glove, and the maple syrup which is conveniently tucked away in my Mickey Mouse dipper from Bento Mommas. Grilled chicken strips and fresh melon round out Gelli’s snack box. It’s a bit bigger than usual, but I just thought all of these things were so cute and I wanted to put them together. Much to my surprise, Gelli must have thought everything was so cute and delicious too, because she ate everything!!! There was only a little melon left when she brought her snack box home!

IMG_3573 copy

 

So if Gelli gets all Mickey Mouse themed snacks complete with additions from Bento Mommas, my big kids got a little more in their lunch boxes with the addition of potatoes and eggs, and a grilled cheese sandwich. Little dippers for my Easy Lunch Boxes are perfect for ketchup, which the kids always request with their frittata. Of course these kiddos get the banana muffins too!

Being a busy mom of four, who likes to pack fun and nutritious snacks and lunches, I can totally appreciate the ease with which I can bake banana muffins that don’t stick in a silicone pan. Super easy. Super done. Super right.

Thank you Melawares and Urban Kitchen for sending over such cute and fun stuff for me to play with in the kitchen!

http://www.melawares.com/

https://www.facebook.com/MelawaresCusinaClub

https://instagram.com/melawares

https://www.facebook.com/UrbanKitchenPhilippines

https://instagram.com/urbankitchenph/

 

Crepes made EASY with Braun and Severin

So my kids love to make crepes.

Actually, Gia has been making crepes ever since she learned how to make them in one of her cooking classes with Chef Hans of The Palms Country Club. She was doing it the way he taught her with a nonstick pan and they came out pretty darn good.

I remembered how much I love crepes again when my friend and co-parent Bev came over one night for some mommy fun and brought this crepe maker in tow! This celebration was for the Mommas who put together the graduation party for the kids last year and we came together to blow off some steam after all of our hard work was completed. It was a fantastic night, where I got to learn some of my co-parents much better and where I can say we all truly enjoyed each other’s company.

Bev ended up leaving her Crepe maker by mistake because she was in a hurry to go home (but not until after we had enough fun for sure) and I have to be honest. I wanted to take the crepe maker out of the box and just experiment for a bit. 

But…my mother taught me not to play with or use anything that isn’t mine…so I didn’t.

I just asked Bev about it when we saw each other again for coffee.

And she shared that if I was game…she would show me how to use that crepe maker and much MORE…

Y’all know I’m always game to learn something new in the kitchen, right?

So, flash forward to another get together with the same Mommas and a few more new ones…where Bev allowed us to play with her kitchen toys…

 

IMG_2091 copy

 

I have always enjoyed getting the women in my life together for learning something new. This is how the birth of Crafternoons came about. 

IMG_2080 copy

All the Mommas were able to try out each of the appliances if they were so inclined to do so…

IMG_2145 copy

I’m a hands on learner…so I totally appreciated the opportunity to try something out for myself.

IMG_2150 copy

Everyone got in on the fun.

IMG_0748 copy

Mango crepes were made so easily. Through my Afternoon Bites with Bev and the Braun and Severin team, I realized that making crepes doesn’t have to be so daunting a task to pull off in my own kitchen. I enjoy going out for crepes…but as many of you know, when I try something, I also like to try and make it at home for my own family to enjoy in the comfort of our own four walls.

So one Saturday morning…I woke up a little bit earlier…and made these delicious crepes for my family. I had it all planned out and bought the ingredients the day before. I wanted to try making savory crepes as well as the sweet treats.

IMG_7434 copy

Making these crepes is even easier with my Braun hand mixer. I chose to use the hand mixer with 5 different attachments because I know it can be even more versatile for me in the kitchen. 

IMG_7445 copy

Of course I look to my home making idol, when searching for a recipe. Classic Crepe Recipe care of Ms. Martha Stewart…THANKS MARTHA!

IMG_7439 copy

Super easy recipe where you just put everything in the bowl and mix away…

IMG_7446 copy

The possibilities are endless when you think of the fillings…

On this particular Saturday morning, I made ham and cheese, kani with mangoes, lettuce and Japanese mayo, and Nutella crepes as well.

IMG_7460 copy

Nino and the kids enjoyed ham and cheese crepes first with Nutella to follow.

IMG_7473 copy

I enjoyed the Kani crepes the most.

But it got me to thinking…especially because I have seen and tried these crepe cakes? Have you heard of them? 

I think the next thing that will be on my list of to do’s will be to come up with a recipe on my own for a Mille Crepe Cake…

What’s your favorite crepe?

Check out Colombo Merchants for the sales and steals when shopping for Braun and Severin products for your kitchen. 

http://www.colombophils.com.ph/

https://www.facebook.com/Colombophils

https://instagram.com/colombophils/

Wanna find Braun, Severin and even Beurer in a store near you? Click this link and check for the nearest location to your place. 

Thank you Bev and Colombo Merchants for sharing so much of your product knowledge and for enlightening me on the ease of crepe making with these two wonderful appliances in the kitchen! You know I like EASY…

Gourdo’s SM Megamall is now OPEN

I don’t get to go to Mega Mall too often. 

Gourdo's in Mega Fashion Hall is now open on the fourth floor.

Gourdo’s in Mega Fashion Hall is now open on the fourth floor.

But here in my own mall, when I’m browsing and window shopping, I like to go to house and home stores. These are the kind of stores I can look to for inspiration in decorating, and even more importantly in the kitchen.

I have always said that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and in my house, it just doesn’t sit in the center of our layout…it truly is the room that is most used. 

Cookware, Dining Ware and Table Top Ware at Gourdo's (9)

I don’t have to look to far for inspiration on how to set a beautiful table when I go to Gourdo’s.

Even when I’m cooking a full meal for my family, I might be meeting with a girlfriend (like Patty) over coffee and snacks. She can prop herself up at the stools under my counter, the kids can come in and out of the kitchen as they please for snacks and drinks, and I can talk to Patty while still accomplishing my chores for the day. (like preparing and cooking dinner) We can share recipes while getting some work done as well.

When I’m killing time, I know that I can browse around stores like Gourdo’s for ideas on new ways of how to serve my family style dishes to the troops, and for cute ways to present my baked goodies for the kids in their lunch boxes. 

Cookware, Dining Ware and Table Top Ware at Gourdo's (1)

I could spend hours in front of the ceramic white wall. I look for cute ways to serve up new things for the family through all the white serving dishes and tableware.

The folks over at Gourdo’s recently opened up a new location in my favorite part of Mega Mall. The Mega Mall Fashion Hall has been the main reason why I HAVE been making the trek all the way down EDSA from Alabang. It’s the hot spot for all the new openings of flagship stores and mega fashion brands.

Gourdo's Mega Fashion Hall - Bed & Bath (2)

This bigger location allows for expanded offerings in bedding and bath.

Gourdo’s in their new Mega Mall location might seem a bit different than the other branches you might know and be familiar with.  It’s a bit bigger than some of the other branches. You can still browse and find what your looking for in all areas of kitchen, specialty foods, cooking, serving, and bedding. This newly opened bigger venue also allows customers to find a more spacious area to shop for crafts, gift items, scrapbooking, and small appliances.

Gourdo's Mega Fashion Hall - Bed & Bath (1)

Fun novelty items are cute to pick up for gifts as well.

Similar to other branches, this newly opened Fashion Hall location has a private room built to encourage the acquiring of new skills through workshops on cake decorating, baking, knife skills and even scrapbooking.

I can’t wait to make an excuse to visit Gourdo’s SM Megamall for some treats. I think I just may need to find something cute to help us celebrate Easter…

http://www.gourdos.com

http://www.facebook.com/Gourdos

http://www.twitter.com/Gourdos

http://www.instagram.com/Gourdos

 

 

World Down Syndrome Day 2015

Today is World Down Syndrome Day. 

That means that people all over the world, who have an extra chromosome, or love someone with an extra chromosome will be celebrating today. 

There are lots of different ways you can show your support.

You can wear #lotsofsocks…

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 6.51.13 AM

 You can ask someone really special to be with you forever…

You can check out this website, where you will read, watch, and learn more about individuals with Down Syndrome and how they live every day.

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 7.03.15 AM

Click this header to be brought over to Meriah Nichol’s website where she has asked people all over the world to share what their typical day would be like.

Meriah blogs over at http://www.meriahnichols.com/.

You can participate in a movement where you perform random acts of kindess. (#RAK) 

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 7.10.31 AM

Click on this postcard and print.

All you have to do is think of something really nice you would like to do for someone. AND DO IT. It’s really that easy. The world needs more kindness and today is a good day to start.

Click here to visit the National Down Syndrome Congress website to learn more about how you can complete a random act of kindness in support of Gellibean and other kids and adults like her.

You can search social media with the hashtag #WDSD15 for some really great stories…some might even bring you to “feel good” tears…

 

Sarah blogs over at http://www.dontbesorry.net/wp/

Speaking of blogs…

You can also visit some really great sites, where some really great moms, share stories about their really great kids…

OR you could wear one of your favorite t-shirts…

IMG_7768 copy

And practice your dance moves…

IMG_7796copy

ON STAGE…with your classmates…

IMG_7795copy

And you could do it pretty darn well, if you wanted to… 

 

#Gellibean with her classmates, from @thelittleapprenticepreschool practicing for moving up day. #timeflies #toddlertornado #WDSD15

A video posted by Michelle Aventajado (@mommanmanila) on

 You could also make your mom and dad super darn proud…just by being you…

 

_MG_5850

 

_MG_5826

 

_MG_6223-Edit

 

_MG_6228

 

_MG_5808

 _MG_5421-Edit

Thank you The Little Apprentice Preschool for giving us another reason to celebrate today…

World Down Syndrome Day 2015 + The Little Apprentice Preschool Moving UP Day = Double the Fun and Double the Celebration!

Good Job Gellibean! Mommy and Daddy are oh so proud of you. 

#WDSD15 

Thank you Aldwin Asperilla and The Little Apprentice Preschool for these wonderful photos that I will cherish forever.

Crimson Sunday Brunch

Summer time is all about slowing down for us.

During the school year, I’m sure to keep everyone on a tight schedule so that homework gets done, sports events are attended, and dinner gets on the table. That also means that we can make time Sunday lunch or dinner with the extended family, but 9 times out of 10 we are hurrying out to go home, prepare book bags, and do the last minute homework for the Monday that follows.

But summer? Summer is made for slower meals and a more relaxed pace. Summer is made for SUNDAY Brunches, where you can sit and take your time. Sundays in the summer are made for mimosas and bloody mary’s to be sipped while watching the kids play.

Crimson Sunday Brunch is super convenient for us because it’s right down the road. It’s easy to get to and has a ton of things to do for the kids. We decided to check out the brunch buffet last week as a family and we were all pleasantly surprised at just how easy it is for all of us to enjoy our meal.

Just the two of us....I mean six of us....

Just the two of us….I mean six of us….

Sometimes, yaya has the weekend off so that she can spend time with her own family. When Gelli was smaller (and not a toddler tornado) I wouldn’t even mind the days off that yaya had. But Gelli is older now, moves around a lot, gets bored easily, and is a little picky with her food. So…when it is just the six of us going out to eat, I make sure that we eat in a place that is kid friendly, and safe for Gelli to explore with her siblings if she chooses to walk around after she is done eating.

First thing you do is measure your kids when you register.

First thing you do when you arrive at Cafe 8 is measure your kids when you register.

Kids under 4 feet are free and kids under 4 1/2 feet are fifty percent off. 

When you sign your kids in, they get a bracelet. Keep this bracelet on for the whole day. It will be very important later on.

When you sign your kids in, they get a bracelet. Keep this bracelet on for the whole day. It will be very important later on.

Here’s why it’s important to sign in and register with your contact information!

R3 Brunch with Partner Poster

Crimson is running a promo now where each single receipt for Sunday Brunch will enter you for a trip to travel the Philippines. At the end of the month, Crimson will choose one family to win a stay at a sister hotel. The winning family of four will receive accommodations at one of Crimson’s sister hotels. Each month will have a different partner and will be announced prior to the raffle. Winners will win guest accommodations for their family of four simply by availing of #CrimsonSundayBrunch Buffet.

Kiddos can feel right at home playing amongst the balloons...

Kiddos can feel right at home playing amongst the balloons…

What kid doesn’t like a floor full of balloons??

Kids can watch the movie playing for the day.

Kids can watch the movie playing for the day.

So while the kids are playing, or watching a movie, or drawing and coloring, you can eat. You can enjoy delicious freshly baked ham.

IMG_6739 copy

IMG_6756 copy

 

Nino says that a Brunch Buffet is NOT a Brunch Buffet unless there is lots of cold seafood. I’m happy to say that this buffet passed his test :-) SEE all the SEAFOOD???

 

IMG_6755 copy

IMG_6747 copyIMG_6772 copy

IMG_6695 copy

IMG_6876 copy

IMG_6878 copy

In between my different plates of food (and cheese) I would check on Gelli. 

 

Playtime for the two littles while I enjoy #CrimsonSundayBrunch @crimsonfilinvestcity

A video posted by Michelle Aventajado (@mommanmanila) on

Because everything was set up for the kids, it made it easy for me to sit and relax and enjoy my food. If you are a momma, you KNOW what that means, because it is far and few in between when you get to SIT, RELAX, and ENJOY your food….

So I made time for dessert. 

The buffet has an abundance of different desserts that you can enjoy while the kiddos are entertaining themselves. One of my favorites was the chocolate lava cake. (OMG.) It was so good that I forgot to take a photo of it. It is baked on the spot and covered in a vanilla cream sauce, served warm of course.

IMG_6795 copy

IMG_6708 copy

IMG_6706 copy

IMG_6710 copy

What did I like most about the Sunday Brunch Buffet?

  • It is convenient, close to home, and clean.
  • There are choices for me AND choices for my kids.
  • There is an abundance of seafood. (SEE food? Eat it!)
  • There are fun treats for kids and kids at heart.
  • There are coloring pages, with WASHABLE markers.
  • There is a movie playing for the kids to enjoy.
  • There is a choice…we could have brunch with or without alcohol.

BUT WAIT. THERE IS MORE.

This is the one thing that will differentiate #CrimsonSundayBrunchBuffet from every other Brunch Buffet you are aware of.

Kids can bring their swimsuits.

When you enjoy the brunch buffet with the kids, you are automatically entitled to an afternoon swim in the Crimson pool. You just need to let your kids keep that bracelet that they were given earlier in the day on. Bring your swimsuits and cool off from the summer heat, here…  

Kids can swim after enjoying the movie, activities, and brunch buffet for FREE.

Kids can swim after enjoying the movie, activities, and brunch buffet for FREE.

 Good food. Safe play. AND cooling off in the summer heat?

SUNDAY BRUNCH PERFECTION.

Enjoy the brunch buffets for only Php 1,600 net per person, with unlimited juices and Php 2,100 net per person with unlimited mimosas, local beer, house wine and juices.

For inquiries and reservations, please call (02) 863-2222. Promotions may not be combined with any other discount or offers. Prior reservation is encouraged. Other terms and conditions apply.

https://www.facebook.com/CrimsonFilinvestCity

https://twitter.com/Crimson_Alabang

https://instagram.com/Crimsonfilinvestcity

http://www.crimsonhotel.com/manila

 

 

Kracie Popin: Playing with your Food

Every summer, I look for activities for the kids to do together to keep them busy.

Usually, I enroll them in summer classes…but sometimes, I just look for fun and inexpensive activities to keep them busy on a sunny morning…or a lazy afternoon. 

Kracie Popin is a great way to keep the boys busy for an hour or two…and what’s even better is that they not only get to play with their food…they get to eat it afterwards.

IMG_7636 copy

These guys were bored one afternoon, so I asked them to put these together for me.

Everyone chose their own box to work on.

Everyone chose their own box to work on.

IMG_7653 copy

Even Ate wanted to get in on the fun when she got home from volleyball practice.

Kuya is ready to dig in and get some creative juices flowing.

Kuya is ready to dig in and get some creative juices flowing.

IMG_7640 copy

But Diego was really overwhelmed with how many different packets were included in his burger box!

IMG_7646 copy

But once they got started, they had the idea to bring out the laptop so that they could record themselves completing the activity. I indulged them and set up the laptop so that they could complete a tutorial. They asked me not to post the video because they said it wasn’t their “best work.”

It was really easy to get started. The directions were quite clear, even if we couldn't read them!

It was really easy to get started. The directions were quite clear, even if we couldn’t read them!

Diego started with french fries first.

Diego started with french fries first.

And as he followed along, he realized it wasn’t as difficult as he first thought!

We actually finished all the pieces for this edible puzzle faster than I thought we would!

We actually finished all the pieces for this edible puzzle faster than I thought we would!

And since my kids love plating…

IMG_7657 copy

Even the ketchup comes with the activity pack!

And the soft drink packet, you just add water to the packet to make it a sweet treat…

Even Ate was able to finish her dessert in time to share after they dug into their bite sized burger...

Even Ate was able to finish her dessert in time to share after they dug into their bite sized burger…

Seriously?

SO CUTE!

But all that cooking and prepping made Diego hungry for a “man sized burger” for which we of course went to The Palms Country Club after the kids were done.

IMG_7685 copyIf you would like to know more about Kracie Popin you should check out 

@diyfun_ph on Instagram :-) Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 9.58.37 AM

 Or you can call and text 092-911-3743

AND LOOK!!! THEY ARE RUNNING A SUMMER SPECIAL!

 

FullSizeRender

 

The Little Apprentice

So, I had Gelli’s first Parent Teacher Conference last week.

It wasn’t a busy day by my usual standard, I just had two things I had to tend to. Unfortunately, my two things that I had to take care of were so closely scheduled that I felt a bit rushed during my PTC.

I have been to PTC’s before at TLA. But this one was different for me. I think they have changed the process a little…made it more relaxed. I wish I WAS a little more relaxed for the event, but I have learned to roll with the punches, so it’s ok.

I was a little rushed because we had a scheduled lunch with the priest who married us. Father Willy (He’s actually Monsignor already.) as I still like to call him…is visiting from Rome this week for his yearly check up and was able to squeeze us all in, for a family lunch. Many years ago when Nino and I were dating, he was the first one to put what Nino and I already were thinking out there…He asked us both when we were together for Nino’s shop blessing…”So, when are you two getting married?”

FatherWilly

But I digress…that nostalgia is for another time and another post…

I have often said that Gelli has given me great perspective in raising all of my children. So, to be sitting across the table from her very loving and supportive teachers was a bit emotional and even a bit nerve wracking…

Does that even make sense when I say that she has given me perspective?

I knew what to expect from our PTC because Teacher Boom had emailed me a checklist of sorts and a “Day in the Life” earlier in the week, so that I could look over everything we would discuss before hand. I appreciate the time to look over everything before hand because that means I can sit and listen to what Teacher Boom is sharing instead of being distracted and shuffling through papers.

Ate Maricel (the aide in Gelli’s classroom) was kind enough to serve me coffee and warm pandesal with cheese pimiento as soon as I sat down with Teachers Boom and Tricia. I was thinking how I didn’t want to be rushing through the conference, but Nino was calling to remind me that Father Willy and the family were already at the restaurant. I pride myself in being fully present, but at this particular moment it was a bit challenging.

Why was I a bit emotional and nerve wracked? 

I like to live in the moment with my daughter. The fact that she has Down Syndrome has me celebrating every little milestone that I previously took for granted. I don’t like to look too far into the future, and I don’t compare what my kid can do to what anyone else’s kid can do. I take her progress day by day.

Sitting in a Parent Teacher Conference causes me to pause and evaluate…COMPARE…and of course become more aware of Gelli’s delays.

Overall, Gelli is doing great. She is almost four years old, eats by herself, can communicate her needs to us, and is becoming more and more verbal by the day. I attribute much of her new found verbal skills to her attending school at The Little Apprentice. I feel like she is learning more and more words every day. She enjoys taking turns, reading books, drawing her “name,” pretend play, and visiting the playground. She likes to eat by herself and doesn’t want her teacher’s help when she paints on the glue for their art projects. 

But, if I go by the list of things that Gelli should be able to do and say that is appropriate for typical children her age…we have a lot of work to do this summer. 

OH MY GOSH.

It’s almost summer! And that means that Gelli will be enrolling in her first set of summer activities! 

Before we get into all the summer activities-I want to share one of the field trips we went on in the beginning of 2015 as a class. We all had a great time when we visited Ark Avilon Zoo!

IMG_4738 copy

 All the kids and the mommas had a great time exploring the zoo together. 

IMG_4572 copy

The Avilon Zoo

The kids learned about the different animals that were there.

Gelli was mesmerised by the big cats. She  spent a good amount of time watching the different big cats.

Gelli was mesmerised by the big cats. She spent a good amount of time watching the different big cats.

I’m not quite sure if Gelli understood everything, but I do know she really liked the big cats, the fish and the tortoise.

IMG_4574 copy

Our tour guide explains the difference between this African Spurred Tortoise and a turtle.

While we were near the tortoise, I realized Gelli was looking for Teacher Boom and wanted her to sing a nursery rhyme. I was curious about the song so I checked on Youtube and found this version. Gelli loves it. 


  Gelli also liked feeding the animals.

Gelli's classmates feed the rabbits.

Gelli’s classmates feed the rabbits.

Gelli lost interest in feeding all the animals so quickly that we just explored the second floor together.

Many of the kids enjoyed the interaction with the animals. The cost was minimal, but it was not included in the fee for the zoo entrance.

Many of the kids enjoyed the interaction with the animals. The cost was minimal, but it was not included in the fee for the zoo entrance. 

Many times when we are raising our kids, we have to know when to let them lead us. I also know this is just as important in education. I have written about teachable moments before, and the value in those moments…you know, that time when a child becomes curious enough to start asking questions. As teachers, we often provide these moments for our students. We inspire the kids in the classroom and hope to spark that curiosity where a student will connect the dots. When I am teaching yoga, I hope to inspire my young students to make the mind body connection…and for me, while we are in the yoga studio, it’s also about helping the kids discover a sense of self awareness.

The Gang's all here...even if not everyone is happy :-(

The Gang’s all here…even if not everyone is happy…

The teachers at The Little Apprentice know how to foster that curiosity with Gelli and her classmates. I can see it when I visit the class, the questions being answered…the wheels turning inside their little heads and the discovery that takes place most days when the kids are working with Teacher Boom and Teacher Tricia. 

It’s kinda like the series of photos that I share below. You can see that at first, Gelli is quite fearful of the Macaw that’s perched on my shoulder…but as he gets a little friendly her fear soon turns to curiosity.

This is the time that I want to thank the teachers, the staff and the administration at The Little Apprentice for always taking such good care of my precious little one, for sparking that curiosity not just in the classroom but through field trips, every day experiences, and PLAY. 

Because that’s…that’s what preschools are made of…LEARNING THROUGH PLAY…

Now that summer is almost here, I will be checking out the summer programs which TLA will be offering. My boys will be busy with their own activities, and Gia will have her volleyball to keep her occupied, but Gelli will most definitely need some stimulation through out the summer to help keep her on track and ready for the new school year.

10960146_1559548854322665_1571706556464845688_o

 

http://www.thelittleapprenticepreschool.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Little-Apprentice-Preschool/1393161347628084

https://instagram.com/thelittleapprenticepreschool

Weekend Activities in Metro Manila

There are so many fun things happening this weekend! I will be running around like a busy little bee because I want to take in as much of the weekend activities in Metro Manila as possible:-)

Be sure to check out Mommy Mundo’s TOP MOM PICKS EXPO. This expo is different from all the others because the products and brands that will be featured in the Top Mom Picks free Guidebook are those approved and recommended BY MOMS FOR MOMS.

Top Mom Pics Expo

See you at the Rockwell Tent!

Be sure to check out Manila Baby when you go! I’ll be going before lunch so I hope to see you there!

On the same day, I will be visiting the folks over at Chicify. Why do I love Chicify? Because I can chose to order well known brands and have the items delivered to my door! 

10929161_812737478780245_8786644925173233956_n

For this event, I plan to shop with some of my momma friends. I’m looking forward to seeing what Willow will have on the racks :-)

If you’re in the area for this one, there is a food fair you don’t want to miss. Lori Baltazar knows her food…

And Look! Il Ponticello will be there too!

This bazaar will surely be a treasure trove of delectable treats...

This bazaar will surely be a treasure trove of delectable treats…

On March 14th The Mind Museum will be celebrating Pi Day!

This year, you can literally celebrate Pi Day on the mathematical number of Pi up to 10 digits of precision on March 14, 2015 at 9:26:53. It only happens once in a life time!

March 14 is also Science Centre Day and Einstein’s Birthday. Celebrate this momentous fun-filled day for science at The Mind Museum! We’re having Einstein and Pi-day themed demos all day, a Pi-ku writing contest, a #CafeScientifique with astrophysicist Reinabelle Reyes!

PLUS avail of special “Happy Birthday The Mind Museum” weekend promos on tickets and Unlimited Science Passes from March 13-15, 2015. 

10645259_10152812478187879_1123051608507058171_n

For inquiries: email inquiry@themindmuseum.org or call 909-6463

You can check out the event page for The Mind Museum Pi Day Celebration here.

This is the Early Intervention Seminar that I attended when Gellibean was just a few months old. It gave me a concrete plan for her care through early intervention therapy so that I could begin the journey of parenting her with confidence. It’s where we the beginnings of Team Gellibean came about. If you know anyone who has a new baby in their family, and that baby was gifted an extra chromosome, then this is the event of the year for them to attend.

Screen Shot 2015-02-28 at 7.55.26 AM

If you have any questions at all about the EIS, visit the event page on Facebook.

Brunchissimo at Il Ponticello

We love brunch. 

But y’all knew that.

I’ve talked about brunch in so many different ways here on the blog. I have posted recipes. I have pinned boards on Pinterest solely created for brunch. 

Brunch is all encompassing. You can pretty much serve anything you want, (and eat anything you want) when you are gonna call it BRUNCH. AND…you can call it brunch and add an alcoholic beverage to your meal, like a mimosa or a bloody mary.  

I heart Brunch. 

You know what makes brunch even better? It has a nicer sound when you call it Brunchissimo…cue the Italian hand gestures and RRRRRRoll your R’s….It just rolls off your tongue…

Can you just say YUM?

The folks over at Il Ponticello have launched a new Brunchissimo Menu that is perfect for Bacon LOVERS and for lazy Saturdays in the city…

YES! It’s made for Saturdays! So many of the brunch specials run on Sundays. Sundays are good for brunch too, but that means brunch with the whole family (sometimes extended) and everyone in tow. But having the option of brunch on Saturday? Well, that makes a world of difference…

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 9.37.07 AM

See that “Unlimited Pancetta Arrotalata Carving?” That’s what you need. That’s what you want. TRUST ME. Photo Credit: Patty Laurel

Sometimes, it’s ok to bring out the kids in small groups. Taking out the three big kids means that there is more to talk about at the table, and it also means that no one will end up with food being thrown at them. Gelli is in this stage where, when she is done eating she starts to throw the food that is left on her plate. I figured, I would use this opportunity to take the kids out while Nino ran some errands in Makati, and Gelli was home taking her nap.

IMG_6574 copy

These three…sometimes they fight like cats and dogs…and sometimes they get along quite well. Today was a good day. No one was fighting.

One thing that Gia and I both agreed on was that we needed to have unlimited BACON!

unlimi

Unlimited Pancetta Arrotalata Carving means there is a steady stream of bacon coming to the table…even the servers anticipate…they see when you are running low, and before you know it, there is another plate of Pancetta cooked to your liking…ready to eat..

I like my bacon cripsy. Gia was curious what “medium” would taste like, so we ordered one plate of each. You can have your Pancetta come to the table in four, six, or eight slices. We chose 4 slices each of “medium” and “crispy.”

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 9.45.26 AM

Gia decided to try out the Truffled Cheese and Mushroom Frittata, while I opted for my always favorite Italian Style Eggs Benedetto (Eggs Benedict).

And because it was Miguel’s birthday month, both he and Diego got to try out the Pizza Santino! The kids love doing things themselves, and they love pizza…so this is a great concept. 

IMG_6577 copy

If you visit Il Ponticello during your childs birthday month (February-May), simply bring proof of her birthday and avail of a FREE Pizza Santino!

Things to remember if you want to avail of the FREE Pizza Santino offer:

  • Promo runs from Feb-May
  • Minimum purchase of P1,000
  • Free Pizza Santino must be availed during your child’s birthday month
  • Promo for kids 12 and under
  • Available Saturdays only
  • Please bring proof of your child’s birthday :-)

Diego loves brunch as much as I do. That’s part of the reason why he’s all smiles here.

This boy.

This boy.

Saturday Brunchissimo is as much about the beverages as it is about the bacon! These fun juice mocktails made it even more special for the kiddos.

IMG_6581 copy

Coffee for me, mango shake for Diego, Raspberry Kiss for Gia and Pupazzo Cooler for Miguel.

Brunch comes complete with fresh breads and home made spreads and dips. I didn’t want to fill up too much on the carbs, but I did enjoy a few bites. 

IMG_6596 copy

Pizza Santino toppings to choose from are two different kinds of cheese, italian sausage and pancetta.

Miguel was quite happy with his finished product. It looked so yummy, I asked for a bite :-)

Miguel was quite happy with his finished product. It looked so yummy, I asked for a bite :-)

But not before I finished my own meal :-)

IMG_6602 copy

Eggs Benedict can be interpreted in so many different ways…and no matter what the interpretation, I am always a fan of those lightly poached eggs…

When you opt for the all you can eat bacon menu, you have a couple of choices to make. First, you are served bread with spreads and toppings. Then you can order your main entree, which of course comes with more bacon if you like. (and the bacon just keeps coming.) After you finish your entree, you can enjoy your pick of three desserts. 

The desserts to choose from are a Nutella Bigné, Cheesecake Caramel Panna Cotta, Tiramisu, Carmello Di Semolina, and Decadant Chocolate Cake.

Now, I have been to Pontis before,  so I advised the kids that they MUST try the panna cotta.

IMG_6635 copy

T-B L-R: Cheesecake Caramel Panna Cotta, Tiramisu, Nutella Bigné, Decadent Chocolate Cake, Caramello Di Semolina, and Cheesecake Caramel Panna Cotta

Because I already indulged in eggs and a big slice of mushroom ciabatta, I skipped the desserts and let the kids enjoy the sweets, while I enjoyed my second cup o’ joe. 

Brunching with the Babes is always fun. Not just because I enjoy brunch as my favorite meal, but because spending time with the kids over a quiet meal is time well spent.

Brunching with the Babes is always fun. Not just because I enjoy brunch as my favorite meal, but because spending time with the kids over a quiet meal is time well spent.

We even ran into fellow #SoMom, Belle of Cruisin Mommyhood, and her family.

IMG_6632 copy

If you would like to check out Il Ponticello and learn more about Brunchissimo visit their Facebook page and Instagram account.

PS. lf you like to entertain (like I do) this porchetta will surely please the crowd. I kid you not. This is so delicious and easy to do. All you have to do is ORDER! 

ALSO-Try and check out Deal Grocer every now and then because they run amazing specials for the restaurant. 

Il Ponticello

2/F Antel 2000 Bldg.
121 Valero St. Salcedo Village
Makati
 
+632 553 9971
+63 949 760 8731
 
 
 

Wraps for Dinner

Confession: Sometimes, I really don’t feel like cooking.

When I didn’t have the desire to cook in the past, I would ask one of my trusted helpers to cook something up for the whole family. That usually means that it would be a delicious Filipino dish, like adobo, sinigang, nilaga, or even menudo. My helper has moved on now, and I miss her…especially on days like this particular day when I was uninspired to move in the kitchen.

It was a good thing that Gianina was in the kitchen with me. She turned on the music, and started looking for things to eat. Together, we whipped up this dinner and we all sat around the counter, choosing our ingredients for our whole wheat wraps, tossing them in salad dressing and enjoying them as we recounted the events of our days together.

Don’t feel like cooking? Throw it in a wrap!

Here’s what Gia and I did together and had dinner on the table in 40 minutes.

  • sautéed chorizo
  • sautéed shrimp with garlic in butter
  • tossed organic cauliflower in some olive oil, himalyan salt and pepper and roasted in my Philips Air Fryer
  • tossed some tomatoes in olive oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar and roasted in my Philips Air Fryer
  • brought some left over egg salad out of the ref
  • chopped up some feta cheese
  • boiled up some quinoa
  • washed and chopped up some romaine lettuce

I’m sure there are so many things I could throw in a wrap if I just looked in my fridge a little longer…

Things like:

  • olives
  • artichokes
  • sundried tomatoes
  • shredded leftover chicken
  • sauteed mushrooms
  • any kind of fresh leafy vegetable 
  • sunflower seeds, pistachio nuts, walnuts
  • any kind of crumbly cheese
  • mangoes
  • cranberries
  • canned tuna
  • couscous

French Baker has spinach and tomato wraps that I have seen every now and again. I always have Village Gourmet Whole Wheat Tortillas in the freezer. Sometimes I make the chips for our hummus, sometimes I make them mini pizzas, sometimes we have burritos and tacos. Most of the time I use them to house a lot of different leftovers with cheese and I fry them up in a pan to make quesadillas for the lunchboxes.

I feel like there are so many possibilities for wraps and tortillas…hmmmm…now I’m feeling a bit inspired…