Friday, August 30, 2013

Thalia's Nandito Ako

It's OPM Night tonight!

But I'm listening to my girl crush in the ’90s, Thalia, sing Ogie Alcasid's "Nandito Ako."



Sigh! I loved Thalia so much, I actually arranged my classes in college so I'd be home by 6pm for Marimar and Maria la del Barrio. Crazy!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Random reactions to recent reports


My reaction to Miley's twerking is not the same as Breaking Bad's weird couple but I talk about that over at ze mommy blog.

My reaction when Edu replied: I blushed and almost Tweeted back, "I'm sorry. I love you!"

I didn't say that, ha. I said something boring like "Thanks for clearing that up."

My reaction to this amazing news: Shit's about to hit the fan! Take cover, Philippines!

Meanwhile, I have this to advise to Janet:

Tee hee. I guess you can can guess I'm on a Breaking Bad high!

Meanwhile, this is my kids' reaction when I said, "Smile!"
This has nothing to do with Miley, by the way!
It's been an interesting week, folks!

Prank of all time!

Hinika ako sa katatawa! Enjoy!




Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I need these for my house!

Well, not really need them but it sure would be nice to have them sitting in my house.

I found this list on Buzzfeed on ingenious household items. These are what caught my eye:
Joseph Joseph's Arena Dish Rack
My dish rack is Rubbermaid and it's old. I think I've had this since 2002. It's kinda yucky now but I can't get myself to buy those bamboo or wooden slotted drying things because they're so ordinary. But this Arena rack is stylish! Now if only it came in black and white or all white!

Quirky Mocubo One Stop Chop Bamboo Cutting Board
Okay, I don't need a chopping board because I have an amazing thick slab of wood that I bought from Dimensione and it is a magnificent chopping board. But I like Quirky's storage compartments. They slide in so I can contain the smells of garlic and onion and ginger for example, and they slide out so I can just dump the sliced ingredients straight to the pan! Genius! But I don't need a chopping board. Just saying that I love the compartments idea!

Satechi USB Portable Amazing Humidifier
Okay, I want this because my kids are just recovering from a really bad cold and I was advised to put basins of steaming hot water around the bed to humidify the air which will help the kids breathe. But I just couldn't do it because my kids sometimes just suddenly wake up and jump off the bed in the middle of the night and I do not want them stepping into basins of steaming hot water! This Satechi humidifier would've been dope.

Actually, what I really really need are pretty storage containers for my documents, press releases and products. I am looking for large white boxes with lids. Like these:

This is from IKEA

This is the peg:
image from Houzz.com
Gorgeous! I'm obsessed! (And I'm really wanting an all-white house now.) Where can I buy these in Manila???

Friday, August 23, 2013

Watsons gives out awards!

My publicist friend Marcie Linao (because she saw that I blogged about my Watsons shopping) asked me to tell you that the health and beauty shop is honoring some of the brands they carry. Behold! The winners of the Watsons Health Wellness Beauty Awards!

Basically, these are the brands that performed well in terms of sales, promos, customer service and (of course!) product excellence. The winners are:

  • Maybelline for Mascara Brand of the Year
  • ProActiv for Acne Care Brand of the Year
  • Dove Hair Care for Shampoo Brand of the Year
  • Kojie San for Bath Soap Brand of the Year
  • Colgate for Oral Whitening Brand of the Year
  • Ralph Lauren for Prestige Fragrance Brand of the Year
  • Nivea Men for Men’s Grooming Brand of the Year
  • Myra E for Adult Vitamin Brand of the Year
  • Ceelin for Children’s Vitamin Brand of the Year
  • Ascof for Cough Remedy Brand of the Year
  • ATC Redoxfat for Slimming Brand of the Year
  • Belo Glutathione for Whitening Brand of the Year
I agree with the Dove Hair Care, Colgate and Nivea Men. For vitamins, I highly recommend Sangobion, the organic iron supplement with vitamins and minerals! Anyway, that's just a few of the brands Watsons loves. For the complete list of the winners, visit www.facebook.com/WatsonsPH


To make it easier to spot the winners on the shelves of Watsons, just look for the Watsons Recommends Seal of Excellence:

Must go to Watsons again, by the way! We always need tissue. We go through tissue so fast! Happy shopping!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How does one get greedy?

I asked Vince over the weekend, "How much money do you think we need?"

He replied, "Just a little more. We're fine."

I know what he meant. He meant we're living a comfortable life but we need just a bit more so that the kids' education and our family's health requirements, should those arise, will be covered.

So I wondered how much would that cost. How much does a full education (grade school, high school and 4-year college course in a really good school) cost? How much will we need in case someone gets into an accident, gets cancer, gets some disease? My mind, not really sharp when it comes to money since I grew up without it, started going, "We'll need maybe 20 million pesos. We can live off the monthly interest. We can invest, too. Yes, just 20. That should do it. Wait, if I want to send the kids to IS or to the British School, we'll need a million or so a year. Twenty won't do!"

Then I started thinking, "Well, since we have boys, we really should get a house with a big garden. Definitely in a gated community for security. That house should start at 12 million. Then that will be enough. But we'll need to travel! Travel is the best education. We'll go around the world, experience all kinds of cultures. Yes, yes, and business class, of course, and nice hotels. Then that would be enough." Now, how much would all of that cost? Just thinking about it makes me tired. Vince and I will need to work hard and smart if we want to become mega-millionaires.

To be honest, I don't want to be that rich. Too much money is scary. Whenever I see in the news that someone won the lotto (last month's P178 million prize had just one winner), I always wonder what the winner would do with the money. And we've all heard about those stories that no matter how huge the prize is, all that money disappears in no time flat. (Plus, it attracts all sorts of negative energy.) Seems to me, once you have enough, you'll still want more.

image grabbed from Facebook
(check out the Jeane Napoles's Rage Page)

I guess I'm thinking these things because I can't understand how someone gets greedy. The numbers that the Napoles and Co. (that company being the illustrious members of our Congress and Senate) have allegedly stolen from us is, well, I can't even imagine it. Seriously, my mind can't fathom billions of pesos. I tried thinking about it, "What if I were Napoles? Why would I think I need 28 houses in the Philippines? Why would I need 30 cars?"

I was told the government officials needed the money for the elections, which are very expensive. So I guess they really need it to stay in power. Not that I think that's an acceptable reason.

Okay, enough. I promised to keep things light and shallow here. But there... I just want to understand because I really can't understand how anyone can just keep wanting more and more and more.

Are you going?

Monday, August 19, 2013

What to do with leftover chicken and rice

Since we have no maids and nannies, I have to resort to food deliveries often. Sometimes, there are lots of leftovers when the kids decide they didn't want what they ordered after all. Now, you all know that eating leftover fast food is depressing. For example, leftover Jollibee Chicken Joy is no longer crispy. So what I do is turn them into something else!

I got this recipe from the package of rice we buy. This recipe is by Chef Laudico but I tweaked it so that it's now mine. It is super delicious!

Ingredients:

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp garlic, minced
4 tbsp onion, diced
2 tbsp carrots, diced (I used red bell pepper since I ran out of carrots.)
2 tbsp celery, diced
1 cup cabbage, shredded
1 cup chicken meat, cooked
2 cups rice, cooked
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup milk

Heat butter and sauté onions, garlic, celery and bell pepper. The recipe called for carrots but since I didn't have any, I used red bell peppers because they're just as crunchy and sweet. Plus, they add heat that carrots don't!

Add cabbage and when it's a bit limp, add the rice.

You can actually stop at this point and now you have fancy fried rice!

Add chicken stock and simmer for 15 minutes. My chicken stock is just two Knorr chicken flavor cubes dissolved in hot water.

(If you have real chicken stock, much better! You'll just have to season the dish with 2 tbsp patis. Since I used flavor cubes, I didn't need seasoning.)

Add milk and simmer for 5 more minutes.

Add chicken meat.

Serve! This is sooo perfect for this rainy weather. Try it!

P.S. I hope you're all safe and warm and dry, dear readers.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Birth number

Found this on the Internets today. That's what happens when you're stuck at home all day long.


Well, tell me something I don't know! I'm always in hot water.

I really am nonconformist. The most conformist thing I've done is get married and have kids but Vince and I are pretty unconventional (although we're happily conformist with the fidelity clause haha) and we raise our kids in a way that will make most of the perfect supermoms faint haha.

What's your number? Is it you? Find out here!

Took the bus

Yesterday, I had a meeting. I usually bring my baby Iñigo with me everywhere. Since we have no household help and nannies, Vince takes care of our three-year-old Vito while I care for Iñigo. It's not so hard toting Iñigo around (I have an adorable example here!) but since it was raining, Vince said I should leave the baby at home.

Good thing I did. I waited for a cab for 30 minutes to get to a place that was a mere 5 minutes away on wheels and 15 minutes away on foot. I'd have walked if it weren't for the wind and pouring rain. After my meeting, I lined up again at the taxi area but the line was 20 feet long and there was no taxi in sight so I decided to take the bus.

I haven't taken the bus in years. Well, I kinda don't count the buses in Bonifacio Global City since those are really nice and BGC is tiny and not stressful. I used to be on buses, trains and jeeps all the time. One, we were poor. Two, even when I married Vince, I still preferred commuting since it was waaaaaay faster than a car. But when the kids came and I bring them along everywhere, I take the car or a cab to move around the city.

This is me taking the kids to Active Fun. Vince wasn't feeling well that day so we took a cab.

Vito doesn't like public transport. Iñigo is fine with any moving vehicle. Except maybe a tricycle. He didn't like the noise. Here he is in a trike. He was frowning the whole time haha.

So back to yesterday. I took the bus. Okay, it's no big deal. I was just surprised at how I felt. I'd forgotten the rush and crush of people, the smell of the wet pavement and decaying garbage, the thick exhaust fumes, the deafening horns of the buses, the heat, the quick steps or else you get pushed aside, the asshole drivers, the asshole pedestrians. Although my instinct to hold my bag close to me and to be alert to fellow passengers rose up very quickly. That felt like a welcome friend.

This used to be my life. I used to do this every day. I lived near Masinag Market in Antipolo and back then, there was not enough public transportation. I used to stand under the sun for 2 hours, waiting for a jeep. I used to fight for seats sa jeep or sa FX. I used to run after buses. That was my life for so many years. Then my life improved recently and I forgot what it was like to be part of the masses.
With my friend Jennie when we were in our early 20s.
I was so dark because I was under the sun commuting all the time!

Funny how memory is.

So maybe government officials should take the bus once a month. Maybe they shouldn't even be given cars. It's hard to understand what your constituents' life is like if you don't live it even for a few days every now and then. It's a good exercise.

Monday, August 12, 2013

When Kate met William

I wore my sapphire today. I usually wear my topaz but since the gloomy weather felt kinda blue, I took this ring out of its box.

I love it. I bought it because I wanted it to be my engagement ring. I'm a Diana fan! But Vince gave me a diamond because he said, "Look at what happened to that marriage!"

I have a big feeling in my gut that that won't be the fate of William and Kate. Here's what I'm watching now:








Sooo romantic! What I find most romantic is not the royal aspect really but their determination to stay together and their commitment to each other. That's the only secret to a good marriage, kids. Commitment. It's the most serious and most romantic thing in the world!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Beautiful books

We have a modest library. The books are arranged by genre then by author. It's not so genius. This is how books are organized in all the major libraries in the world since printing began. So Vince and I find the color trend really ridiculous.

I know, I know. It's soooo pretty. It transforms your shelves into a visual feast. There is cohesion. But what do you do if you have too many black books and a few reds and oranges? How do you find an author? And what do you do if you own these lovely collections?
Penguin Classics

Leather-bound classics

Puffin Classics for Young Readers

Seriously, it would be wrong to break them up.

I am so in love with these Juniper Books, which are on sale now over at One Kings Lane, a beautifully curated shop of stuff for the home that I subscribe to. I also saw that Daphne Paez must also be a subscriber because she blogged about it. Such gorgeous books! They're very expensive, too. And as someone who buys books from Amazon, I know that books are heavy and thus costly to ship. But these would look really nice on our shelves!

National Book Store, Fully Booked, care to bring them in?


*library photos from Apartment Therapy; Juniper Books images from One Kings Lane

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Lazy weekends are for painting

Del Monte Spaghetti sent my kids art materials a few weeks ago. Now Vito has expressed a keen interest in colors and drawing since this summer so I was very happy to have new art stuff sent our way (thanks, Del Monte!).

When we opened the watercolors set, Vito was amazed. But his impatience with wetting the brush, picking up paint, and building up color layer by layer soon frustrated him. So I picked up the really rather pathetic brush with plastic bristles and showed him what he could do with watercolors.

Not bad! Not good but, hey, I've never painted in my life. But now I want to! I think I'll put this on my bucket list: Paint something big! Maybe my husband will buy it haha!

What artsy crafty thing did you do this weekend?

Thursday, August 08, 2013

My Watsons haul

My family and I were invited to a shopping spree at Watsons! Now, my family's a fan of Watsons. Just go to this post on Topaz Mommy to see our usual hoard. So anyway, when we got that invitation to shop shop shop in June (I know, what a late post!), we said yes yes yes!
We went to the Greenbelt 1 branch.

My boys shopped, too. Okay, get ready to have your hearts melt!

That's how they are when we shop! That's why it's so hard to resist them! We always buy them stuff! Soooo cute! But in case you start thinking we're one of those parents who spoil their kids (well, we kinda spoil them to bits with stuff and with our 24/7 presence!), we do buy them just a few things. For example, on our Watsons shopping trip, we agreed to buy them candy. That's it. The rest of the shopping extravaganza was spent on... wait for it... Tissue!!!


Facial tissue, wet tissue, on-the-go tissue... When you have kids, you can never ever have enough tissue! It's like that thin membrane between sanity and insanity!

Anyway, I bumped into other fab personalities also shopping at Watsons.
Daphne Paez of Daphne.ph. As soon as she saw the boys, she said, "I miss babies!" She couldn't resist Chubs, too. Anyway, she was buying dozens of hand gel soap as part of the loot bags for her daughter Lily's birthday party. So I was tissue, she was soap.

Liz Lanuzo of Project Vanity (seriously, one of the best beauty blogs ever!) was shopping at the pharmacy. Her puppy was sick. Poor baby!

Anyway, we were all there to check out Watsons's new look. Robert Sun, the GM of Watsons Philippines, said that the brand is supposed to be for contemporary living, it's a convenience store that make modern urban life easier. "We conducted extensive research with our customers and, based on their feedback, are evolving the Watsons brand to a more contemporary, attractive and engaging retail experience." The new look is top to bottom: the staff has new smart uniforms, more welcoming store interiors, health and beauty counseling, a bright and clean pharmacy, and the logo, which looked like this:

... has been transformed to the more modern and much friendlier this:

Viki Encarnacion, the marketing director, adds, "We are enhancing the overall Watsons shopping experience, whilst continuing to ensure our pioneering products." Part of that enhancement is launching the Watsons app (iOS and Android). Available at the App Store and at Google Play this month. It's a cool app that will help you with health and beauty tips, discount coupons, and other useful tools.
Watsons also launched its Android and iOS app this month. It will have health and beauty tips, new product updates and exclusive discount coupons. Check out the App Store and Google Play and download na dali!

And here we are with our tissues. We actually bought more than just that one bag! This was in June, right? It's already August and we're still fully stocked! But we're running out so we're off to Watsons this weekend! See you!

Click! Click! Click! http://www.watsons.com.ph/webph/Home.do

Like! Like! Like! https://www.facebook.com/WatsonsPH

*photo credit: Watsons store, family photo and app image courtesy of Watsons.