Sunday, July 28, 2013

Kung Fu Divas

I've met Marian Rivera several times and she's super mataray but super maganda talaga. Hindi naman ako galit sa kanya kasi kung ganun ako kaganda and ang daming nakatitig sa akin 24/7, siguro maiirita rin ako nang wagas.

I used to watch her show, yung waitress siya, Tweets for my Sweet ba yun? Anyway, she's really super funny! She has that rare gift of comedic timing. Madali lang mag-drama; mahirap mag comedy. Plus, she's one of those even rarer Pinoy celebs who support charities and help the less fortunate. So kahit na natatarayan ako kay Marian, sobrang respect naman ako sa ganda, compassion and talent niya.

So when I saw this trailer on my Facebook feed, I decided I wanted to watch this!

Marian's sooo pretty! Pati si Ai Ai delas Alas actually, maganda here. And their chemistry is perfect. I haven't watched a Pinoy movie in a long time (lack of time and interest) but Kung Fu Divas promises to be a hit! Who's watching???

Friday, July 26, 2013

Topaz Fashion: I love that LeBunny Bleu is so affordable!

I was at LeBunny Bleu's launch party yesterday and, boy, was it packed! I didn't realize that the shoe brand was that much of a fashionista favorite! Here's a few snaps from yesterday:
Patty Laurel hosted the event. She also babysat my baby stroller so I could shop. Thanks, Patty!
Patty with Michelle Chan and my friend, Zerline Chan Ortiz-Luiz, the stylish women who
brought in LeBunny Bleu (and Quirks, too!)

Sorry, I forgot to bring my camera so I had to use my Blackberry. Sad. It's a good thing Le Bunny Bleu gave us photos of their super cute shoes! Here are just a few styles. There are a lot more. There's Oxfords, brogues, espadrilles, boat shoes and loafers, too.

The numbers on the photos aren't the prices, okay? I put the price in the captions. I'm sooo happy the shoes are reasonably priced!
Linda Heel, P2795

Angela Ballet Flat, P2795

Cotton Slip-On, P1995

Spring Tassel Slip-On, P2095

Vina Hadden Heel, P2795

And here's some style ideas:

The shoes are a bit too young for 36-year-old me but I did find a pair I liked. A two-tone black-and-white flat. It's quite nice! I'll debut it next week haha.

Shop at LeBunny Bleu this weekend! The flagship store is at 5/F Bridgeway of the East Wing of Shangri-la Plaza Mall. Next week, the Glorietta 5 branch opens!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I have royal baby fever

I'm sooo happy for William and Kate!

A baby is such absolute joy. I knew I always said I never wanted kids but, boy, once you have one and fall in love with that angel (that love is crucial!), they are so addicting! I want more actually. Especially when I see new babies, I feel an ache in my gut and my arms. Baby fever!

Back to Baby Cambridge. NBC has a fabulous coverage series (click click!). Watching the news, watching William and Kate's happiness, I feel just as happy. They look so overwhelmed and yet casual, so giddy and yet cool, so tender and so proud. New parents in love!

I want to gush more but I'd rather watch the news on the Cambridge family today. Have a great love-filled day!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Yes, it's been waaaaaay toooo long, HIMYM.

Plus, I feel bad for the Mother. She has one season to make everyone fall in love with her. And it wasn't love at first sight for any of us last season.
image source

Good luck, Mother! I love Ted Mosby. Please make me believe you deserve him!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Reader question: Are you really as nice as you portray on your blogs?

Am I nice? Depends on who you ask. If you ask some family members and relatives and people I fired, they'll tell you I'm not nice at all.

I think I'm nicer now. The kids had that effect. You see, if you asked me that question (and with how you actually asked it but I won't post here) a few years ago, I'd tell you off and not very nicely. But I'm mellower now, more patient, nicer... So I decided to have fun and answer your question.

Nice is a word that I'll never use to describe myself. Nice conjures images of simple, sweet girls who smile and obey and not ruffle feathers. Is that the image of me that you see here??? I must be doing something wrong haha. If you actually read the blog, you'll see that I'm not... nice.

But I have a good heart. I am fair and I am just. I will always right a wrong. I will help. I will give. But I tend to have a big mouth and a fiery temper. I will help but if I think you need help because you're an idiot, I will tell you you're an idiot while helping you. I lash out when I'm angry or upset over an injustice. I can't keep quiet and I can't be cool. I have hurt many people with my words and I don't apologize for what I say because I only say things that I mean. That's why I can't possibly be a nice girl.

Still, it's kinda cute people think I'm nice. It's sweet. Maybe there's hope for me yet.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Can't Fight This Feeling: The song of my life

Back to the 80s. That's my mood last weekend. I actually wanted to do a full post on My Top 10 Favorite 80s Songs (The Search is Over, Right Here Waiting, Bizarre Love Triangle, Always on My Mind, In My Dreams!!!) but I realized I liked waaaay too many songs from that period. It's an impossible task! They don't write songs like those anymore. Lyrics are very important to me. I'm a writer. I really pay attention to the words and the 80s was the best decade for music and lyrics.

REO Speedwagon's Can't Fight This Feeling is the song I sing to my baby Iñigo. It's a funny lullaby, sure, but that was what worked when I was desperately snatching songs from my memory one nap time. It's one of my most favorite songs. It's also the story of my life.

I've always run away from commitment. I never wanted to get married. Never wanted to have kids. Ask all my friends—they always initiated the friendship; I'm never the one to say hi first. I always need to be convinced that I want friends and I want love. I'm so glad and grateful that Vince and my friends and my sons prove to me every day how wrong I am to be so afraid.

Thank you so much for being the candle in the window. I'm finally finally home.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Signatures of love

Dear Johnson's Baby, after watching your new TVC, I want my babies to star in your commercials!

I really adore Johnson's Baby's new commercial called Signatures of Love (click here to view it!). I keep clicking on the replay button because it's that cute. Especially when I see the baby's eyes light up during his bath and tickle time of the toddler! I see my own children and how wonderful it is to have kids. Who'd have thunk it? The girl who never wanted to have kids going all gooey over a cute video.

That's because whenever I see babies and kids laughing with their parents, playing with their mom or dad, jumping into their arms, sharing a knowing look or smile, I know I am witness to a deep and endless love. Even more wonderfully, I have that same love because I have my own kiddies!

I've always believed that love is a verb. You can't possibly love someone without doing something about it. You can't love someone if no action preceded that commitment. I confess that I fell in love with my babies a few weeks after I gave birth to them. Of course I loved them even while they were in my tummy but I think I loved the idea of them. Love demands action and the action involved holding them in my arms for hours at a time, suffering through the sleepless nights, comforting them through their screaming fits, bearing the initial excruciating pain of breastfeeding—all these made my love real.

Johnson's Baby wants to highlight the actions that prove our love for our kids. That's why they launched the Signatures of Love campaign. What's your Signature of Love? Is it starting the day with baby bath time? Is it the bedtime rituals that make you rush home from work? Is it preparing your kids' baon together?

For Vito and me, it's our Monster Mama game. I pretend I'm a monster and my favorite thing to eat is baby kili-kili. So I'll hunt Vito around the house—very easy to do since he's shrieking haha—and when I catch him, I'll tickle his armpits and he'll laugh and laugh and say, "Again! Again!" For Iñigo and me, it's Tickle Time, which you'll see in this super cute video Vince made:

Another Signature of Love I share with my kids is breastfeeding. I still breastfeed 14-month-old Iñigo but I don't nurse Vito anymore, but I know that when I breastfeed/breastfed them, my kids love nothing more in the world than the comfort and nourishment I provide for them.

Make your own Signatures of Love video and submit it to Johnson's Baby's Facebook page. For example, you can take videos of your baby's bath time (with Johnson's Baby Top-to-Toe wash!) or how you take care of him after an afternoon of play (by giving him cold juice and dusting him with Johnson's Baby Powder!). Just share with other moms and dads how your Signatures of Love make your parent-child bond even deeper, stronger and happier. I definitely want to see your Signatures of Love!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Sunday breakfasts

Most days, our breakfast usually consists of oatmeal and juice, or cookie butter on bread, or cookies. The kids love cookies! Most of the time, it's cereal, like these multi-colored oatmeal stars. They're Quaker Oats Twinkles, fruit-flavored cereal made of oats, wheat and corn. Healthy and delicious!
Yes, breakfast time is also learning time!

But Sundays, Sundays! Sundays are breakfast love! Here are a few that Vince and I have prepared:
Raisin pudding. I baked this. It's really quick and easy. Just soak old bread in milk and cream and sugar, sprinkle with raisins (or chocolate chips) then bake! It's based on Nigella Lawson's chocolate
chip bread pudding recipe but no rum.

Oh, this sinful breakfast is all Vince. It's pancakes and bacon and syrup and sweet spreads. Vince sometimes makes French toast, slathers it with Nutella then tops it with crispy bacon. The combination of sweet and salty, the soft and the crunch is to die for!

This is my usual Sunday brekkie. Toast, egg, sausage, cheese. That's toast with garlic and butter. My eggs are always sunny side up sprinkled with Italian seasoning and truffle oil. The cheese is Parmesan crisps (my how-to here!). Sooo good!

Sometimes we do a big English breakfast (toast with jam, creamy scrambled eggs, grilled tomatoes, sausage and bacon). Sometimes it's Pinoy all the way with fried garlic rice, tapa or tocino or longganisa or Spam. Mmm! What's your favorite breakfast?

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Super delish sardine dish!

When I wrote about our mini-vacation at Edsa Shang, I mentioned that at the breakfast buffet, I ate sardines. Yes, I went to one of the best buffets in town and I chose to eat sardines! Why? Because I love sardines! It's affordable, healthy, easy to prepare, and you can make so many dishes with sardines!

I always have cans of sardines in the pantry. They're easy comfort food. Just open a can, squeeze calamansi and you have a tasty rice topping. Or I mash it up and spread it on hot pan de sal. Or if I'm feeling hoity-toity, I put a dollop on crackers with cheese and I have instant hors d'ouvres. I also make it into an omelette. I also make it into a glass noodle soup. Lots of dishes you can make with a can (or two!) of sardines!

And because Mega Creations Premium Sardines sent me cans of their yummylicious products, I'll share with you a really yummy sardine casserole that my husband enjoys. This recipe is actually by Chef Greg Villalon but I tweaked it to make it mine!

Moroccan Sardine and Sweet Potato Casserole


Sardine layer
3 cans of Mega Creations Premium Sardines Spanish Style
1 cup spinach leaves, chopped (you can use kangkong kung walang spinach)
1 cup red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup onions, minced
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
1 tbsp curry powder
3 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Sweet potato layer
1/2 kilo kamote (sweet potatoes), peeled and cubed
1 cup milk
3 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste

Cheese crust
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Japanese bread crumbs


1. Peel and cube the kamote. Be very careful. Kamote is a very hard root crop. I sliced my finger trying to chop this! Anyway, place in a pan and boil the sweet potatoes until soft. Drain. (I actually just realized I should've boiled the kamote first para mas malambot!)

2. Add milk and butter. Mash together until desired consistency is reached. Season to taste. Set aside.

3. Heat olive oil in a pan. Sauté onions, peppers, spinach and raisins. Add spices. This smells so good! But you'll have to open the windows so that the curry smell won't stick to your upholstery and curtains haha.

4. Stir in tomato paste. Add the Mega Creations Premium Sardines Spanish Style*. Mash thoroughly. I used a wooden spoon. Season to taste. Set aside.

5. Assemble the dish in a casserole or Pyrex dish. Sweet potato mash first, sardine and spinach layer next, then Parmesan cheese. Repeat until you reach the top.

6. Sprinkle the cheese crust mixture on top and add pats of butter. Then bake in a 200º C oven for 15-20 minutes or until the crust browns.

7. Serve hot from the oven! This serves 4-6 people. I serve it with garlic toast and a sprinkling of raisins. I also like it with hot sauce. Sooo good!

You can get more sardine recipes from the show Everyday Creations. It's on Lifestyle Network and it features tons of delicious and easy-to-make dishes that use Mega Creations Premium Sardines. It's every Friday at 6:30 p.m., with replays on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. You can also visit the My Everyday Creations page on Facebook.

I super recommend Mega Creations Premium Sardines because it's masarap and not malansa. It's super fresh because the fish is processed in 12 hours so that the natural elements from the fish like Omega 3 oils, protein, and calcium are preserved. Mega Sardines also comes in tomato sauce variant. It has no preservatives and is ready to eat. Kain na!

Mega Creations Premium Sardines sent me a list of the health benefits of eating sardines. I've edited and added some of my own insights, too! Here they are:

Reduce the risk of cancer
For every serving of sardines, you can get as much as 2,200 mg of Omega-3 fatty acid, which helps prevent cancer, the growth of tumors, and the spread of the disease. Sardines are also rich in Vitamin D, which has been linked with regulation of cell activity and the prevention of cancer.

Raise good cholesterol
Omega-3 fatty acids also help in raising good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol. As such, it decreases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Improve bone health
Sardines also have high calcium content. This means that, together with proper exercise, sardines can help the growth of kids and for us grown-ups, help prevent osteoporosis and degenerative bone diseases.

Protect your eyes against degeneration
The combination of DHA and Omega-3 fatty acids plays a role in eye health. Research has found that the human retina has a high concentration of DHA.

Enjoy high protein content
One serving of sardines contains 7g of protein. Compared to other kinds of meats that have the same amount of protein, sardines have less saturated fat, lowering your risk of heart diseases while still providing you with the right amount of protein.

Strengthen your immune system
A regular serving of sardines has 135.1% Vitamin B-12, which has been associated with the formation of healthy red blood cells, allowing the body to maintain a healthy immune system.

Sooo many health benefits, right? And for such an affordable price and super yummy, too! If you're trying to add more fish to your diet, try sardines!

*If you don't like the bones, you can remove them beforehand but I prefer to keep the bones because they're rich in Vitamin D. When you mash the sardines, madudurog din yung bones anyway.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Reader question: Is your life for real?

I got an email from someone who remarked on how unbelievably blessed my life is. She said, "It must be so nice to have everything. Your life is just so perfect! Sometimes I wonder if it's for real."

I have secrets, too!
Well, dear reader, my life is real. I really am married and happily at that. I really do have two sons who are adorable. I really do live in a fully owned house. I really do write and get paid to write. Everything I write about on my blogs is real. So if you suspect that everything can't be just peachy, then you should pay attention to what I don't write about. Those are the sad and infuriating parts of my life that are unfortunately just as real as the wonderful parts.

I don't blog about them not because I pretend they don't exist. Oh, they're there all right. My husband and I discuss them with great gnashing of teeth. And lately, too many hours have been spent in anger and despair because our funds have been significantly depleted by these people. So we have resolved that maybe it's best for all to ignore them. They are seriously affecting our happiness and we are angry and upset and sad, and we don't want to be this way. So I don't give the problems importance on my blogs because I want my blogs to be a happy place.

Nevertheless, you reminded me of this sad and strange day. I visited my Papa with my sons one afternoon and he went on and on about something he wanted. For two hours, unrelenting. Finally, I said, "Papa, I'm here. Your grandsons are here. We're not here very often. You haven't even asked me how we are."

And he replied, "I don't need to ask. I read all about you on Facebook."

"But all I write on Facebook is the good things!"

And Papa said, "That's all I need to know."

If you're wondering about the authenticity of my life, I assure you that it is very real. But like my father said, it's only the good things that you need to know, dear reader. That's all you need to know.