Get Happy Promo by Pancake House

Our children will always be our sources of pride and joy.  Agree?  More so if they did a great job in school, whether in academics or extra curricular activities.  And when this happens, we oblige ourselves in giving them a reward, right?

Pancake House clearly understands the hardwork which both parents and children put into every school achievement.
Pancake House Robinsons Magnolia
That's why starting last month until December 31, their GET HAPPY promo treats deserving children with FREE Small Soldiers (Mini-Classic Pancakes) for a job well done.
The GET HAPPY FREE Small Soldiers (Mini-Classic Pancakes) are redeemable from Mondays through Fridays from 1-5pm.  Just present the award or certificate of recognition of your children (aged 14 and below) and they already get the FREE Small Soldier (Mini-Classic) Pancakes!

Places To Visit In Bacolod City

Visayas - A region which is getting closer to my heart as I have been visiting it almost every week.  I post my travel photos on Instagram with the hash tag #MPTravels (short for Mommy Practicality Travels) followed by the hash tag of the city I visit.  The most recent city I visited was Bacolod.

If there's a part of you yearning for simplicity, quietness, reliving the old or feeling historical, you will love Bacolod City.  I am thankful that I had an opportunity to travel there because of work.  But being the adventurous and curious person that I am, I would find some personal time to visit popular tourist spots in the city or experience the culture.  I love travelling, it fills my heart with so much joy to see new places, taste the cities' food specialties and get to know some locals.  If you haven't left Manila or anywhere you are right now, you better start exploring other cities in our beloved country while you still can.  Travelling could bring in new perspectives and it helps in opening your minds to life's mysterious possibilities.

It was Masskara Festival when I went to Bacolod City the second time.  I just had very little time (like one hour before my flight) to see some places during my first visit.  So last week, I made sure to experience Bacolod City some more.

PLACES TO VISIT IN BACOLOD CITY:

1.  THE RUINS - Located at Hacienda Sta. Maria, Talisay City in Negros Occidental.  Perfect time to go here is a few hours before your flight because it's near the new Silay Airport.  If you have time, go here just before the sunset.  It's high-grade concrete were made with egg yolks making the walls shimmer when light strikes them.  This mansion was built in 1900's but burnt down by the US Armed Forces during the WWII to prevent the Japanese to occupy it as its headquarter.  One of the largest mansions built at that time owned by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson.  Entrance Fee is Php 60.00 for adults plus Php50 for passenger's car in short taxi/cab.  Php 20 for private vehicles and Php10 for tricycle or motorcycle.

2.  CALEA PASTRIES & COFFEE - When I asked my friends where to go in Bacolod before my trip, this place resonated among them.  "Try Calea's Moist Imported Chocolate Cake!"  So I did.  The cake was indeed moist and not too sweet.  I read a comment which said, "It's definitely tongue and toe curling experience after a bite of Calea's chocolate cake!"  A slice costed me Php 90.00, not very cheap, but it's worth its price.  Order a cup of brewed coffee to go with it!  I went to Calea's Robinsons Mall branch, but there's a bigger branch along Lacson Street.

3.  MANOKAN COUNTRY - I like eating chicken.  I like eating Chicken Inasal Bacolod.  But I like eating authentic Chicken Insasal Bacolod in Bacolod City the most!  This is surely not to miss when you visit Bacolod City.  Manokan Country is a stretch of different Chicken Inasal restaurants located near SM Bacolod.  Other than Chicken Inasal, you could also try their affordable oysters, isaw and gizzards.  Best to pair with garlic java rice and a bit of chicken oil with chili toyomansi on the side! :)  

4.  BALAY NEGRENSE - During my first trip to Bacolod, I've been wanting to visit the Victor Fernandez Gaston Ancestral House (and other heritage houses nearby) located at Cinco de Noviembre St., Silay City, Negros Occidental.  Alas, I had a chance to finally enter the museum last week.  
Balay Negrense was constructed in late 1890's for a wealthy sugar planter family in Silay,the Gastons.  After Victor Gaston's death, the house was passed on to his children and to many more families afterwards until the house had become dilapidated.  The house went into renovation after the heirs of Victor cooperated with the government and turned it into a museum.  

Entrance cost P60.00 each to the museum.  A tourist guide will take you through the whole house, the first and second floor.  For souvenirs, a shop is available at the back of the ancestral house.  I fell in love with the historical ambiance of Balay Negrense and I felt like I was a wealthy sugar planter in my previous life.  


5.  BONGBONG'S PASTRIES - Last but definitely not the least, don't forget to get your loved ones some of Bacolod City's delicacies from BongBong's.  Among those I bought my favorites are: Butterscotch, Piayaya and Barquillos.  There's another pastries' center or pasalubong center called Merci.  Unfortunately I wasn't able  to buy anything from them.  When I arrived home, the kids got thrilled at the big box of  sweet treats!               
There are more places where I want to go to in Bacolod City, maybe on my third visit I'll be able to.  There are so much to love about the serene city of Bacolod.  People in Bacolod are warm, accommodating and helpful.  If on your next get-away you want to experience a laid back and relaxing trip, experience the best Chicken Inasal (of course it's where it originated) and devour one of the best pastries you could find in the country (being the sugar capital of the Philippines), go to Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. :)

Practicing Practicality At Work

How many of you are working, and wish you could be your own boss someday?  Or daydream to be the CEO of the current company you're working for?  Honestly I do.  And I also wish, if I were the owner of a company, my employees will share the same care and passion for the company and rejoice in the success and efficiency of the company, like I do.  If that happens, then we'll have a healthy eco-system at work, I'll be able to make my employees happy and stay with my company for many years.

But because that's just STILL a big dream (it will happen in the future hopefully!), I am currently playing the role of that efficient, caring and practical employee (Insert photo: Boss handing a plaque of Employee Of The Year to Me HERE!  hahaha!).  I am fortunate to be working in a generous and healthily competitive company, doing what I love (and what I think I do best.)  So this means, project budgets, as long as it's cost efficient and will bring better returns, are given to project proponents to be implemented at my proposed timelines.  If you're also this fortunate, you'd want to maximize the budget allowed for your project right?  In my earlier career life, I used to maximize the budget and even justify the need for more budget.  But now that I've matured and have a different perspective, I've learned to practice practicality, even at the work place.

I am not a model employee (I'm too far from being that), but I care enough to save the company's resources.  After all, whatever budget's saved will go back to the employees as bonuses or allowances right.  Here some tips for you:

Gymboree Sta. Rosa’s Pumpkin Patch Party at Greenfield City!

Greenfield City, Sta. Rosa Laguna, hosts Children's Pumpkin Patch Craft, Parachute Event and Costume Parade.  Featuring prizes for voted best costume! 

On Realizations And Choosing A Healthier Lifestyle

Ever since my mom left us to a more peaceful and happier place with God, I realized a number of things about life.  No, not just realizations because the things I learned are the things I already knew by thought, but not by heart.  I got to see them clearly when I was faced by this reality about almost four months ago.

Some of the things I realized even more were these:
  • Life on earth is temporary.  
  • When your mission is done, God can summon you anytime.
  • Be busier spending time with your loved ones, than making a living at work.
  • When you're gone, people will talk about how good you were, not how rich you were.
  • Say I love you, Thank You, and I am Sorry, as often as you can to the persons deserving to hear them.
And so on...
I must admit, that I do miss my mom and still cry over her loss every now and then.  Which was why I went to the cemetery last weekend to visit her.  

Anyway, where is this leading you?  Healthier Food and Lifestyle Choices, yup that's what this post is all about.  My mom was surprised by Cancer during the last week of April and was hospitalized for two weeks in June, until she finally rested.  Though she was very active at the age of 70 with church services, Barangay Lupon, organization of Senior Citizens Association, and aerobics three times a week, admittedly she wasn't an active participant in healthy food choices department.

So since she left, I promised myself that I would eat, cook, and live healthier, for the sake of the kids and the hubby.  I started with food choices.  I failed several times with my exercise activities, but I am not giving up, I still keep on trying.  It's not as simple as you think it is because it's a total change in lifestyle and of what you got used to eating, drinking or doing to your body.

But there are some doable ways to start choosing to be HEALTHY.
  1. Drink 2 glasses of water before eating breakfast.  Like any automobile, you need oil and water to make the machine run smoothly throughout the day.  You only have one body and unlike cars, parts are not easily replaceable, or it's at all irreplaceable.  So better maintain it well.
  2. Drink lots of water throughout the day.  Hydration is good for flushing out toxins and keeping your skin healthy too!  Also helps in indigestion and constipation.
  3. Substitute whites to browns.  This goes for breads (white to wheat), Rice (white to brown or red), and Sugar (white to washed or Muscovado) to name a few.
    I shifted from white to red rice and I noticed a little change in weight.
  4. Walk more or try using the stairs.  A little exercise a day helps you lose some calories, great for weight loss.
  5. Cut on sodas and sweets.  Some sweets are not good for you especially from junk food and drinks.  The sugar content from these could lead to diabetes and unwanted calories which make us gain a lot of unwanted weight.
  6. If you can, don't use creamer on your coffee.  Black is beautiful.  Try brewed and put a little sugar only.  If you're taking the instant coffee, try not to put creamer.  If you can't help it, put just a little.  Milk is a better alternative.  
  7. Sprinkle Turmeric on your meals (when you possibly can.)  Based on research, the Turmeric has a lot of health benefits like having anti-cancer properties, good to be used as antiseptic and anti-bacterial as well.  It's also used for inflammation of skin or wounds.
  8. Change your pans to non-stick or ceramic and use lesser oil or none at all when frying.  The lesser oil (or better none at all) the better.  It doesn't add up to fat mass or bad cholesterol in our bodies.
  9. Eat vegetables and fruits everyday.  We all know how good these are for the body.  Nuff said.
  10. Stay stress-free.  More of this below! :)
DEALING WITH STRESS AND FRUSTRATIONS
Based on my readings, stress is one of the major causes of some fatal diseases like cancers, heart attacks, and strokes to name a few.  That's why, as much as I can, I don't worry too much.  I don't put to much pressure on myself even when deadlines are right before me.  I don't sweat the small stuff.  Cliche it may sound, but I do choose my battles.  I try not to get mad nor affected too much about trivial things.  I breathe in and out first before I react on a compromising and temper-testing situation or before relying to a difficult person.  Because at the end of the day, you're at the losing end for bringing these baggage with you.
It helps if you have a praying warrior in you, for you always know you have a bigger God than your problems.  It does help too if you surround yourself with positive and successful people.  People who won't bring you down.  Be in the company of them who makes you happy, these are of course your kids, your husband, your parents and siblings, and your true friends.
"Be in the company of them who makes you happy"
INVEST IN YOURSELF
It's easier said than done, really!  Of course I know that.  For someone who has been attempting to lose weight since time immemorial by starting then not continuing, I know.  But it takes baby steps to get there.  It takes little changes in life choices to make it happen.  Walking could lead to running.  The amount of food (could be carbo or sugar) intake you lessen could also lead to losing some weight.  Plus it could lesser your chances to from getting unwanted diseases.  Prevention is a lot better than cure.

Invest in healthier food.  Invest in a gym or boxing membership.  Invest in a nice running shoes.  Invest in exercise apparel.  Invest in regular health check ups as well!  Let's aim to live healthier and even stronger!  Because if you are a mom like me, you wouldn't want to be that someone who'd be missed by your very young children, right?  You want to stay healthier, live stronger and grow with your children.  You want to be alive, and strong enough to see your first grandchild too!  :)

Are you willing to invest more in yourself by making healthier choices?  I AM!

~Have you made a healthy choice today?  Do you have other health tips you could share loves?  I'd love to hear from you!~

#DearMommyPracticality: MIL and Husband's Love-Child Issues

They had a top-of-the-world romantic relationship that they knew they were meant for each other.  So they got married and started a family but doesn't live as happily, as how they would like their story to go.  Not when our letter sender isn't at peace with her man's past and first most important woman in his life, his mother.

That's what our letter sender's dilemma is.  She does not have a perfect relationship with her mother-in-law (MIL), and a thing of the past with his husband.  She's afraid that this might affect her sanity and even her marriage.

Her email is quite long so I will just be sharing with you parts of her #DearMommyPracticality letter.  Here it goes:

Samsung KidsTime, A New Educational App for Kids

When I come home from work, I place my things on my home office table, keep my mobile phone away, and give each of my sons a tight hug and shower them with kisses.  I’d then change into comfortable clothes, get down on the floor to play Lego or UNO cards, and read books to them.   That’s how I bond with my children.

Yes, I do keep the gadgets and mobile phones away because I have an impression that these hamper them from a normal child development.  I’m also particular about the games they play and especially fearful about the adult content they might accidentally see from unwanted and bothering ads and making in-app purchases in mobile apps.  But I still do let them play our phones and the tablet once in a while.  In fact, the older one has his own mobile phone.  It’s just that their exposure time to gadgets is regulated and highly supervised.  Sometimes, they just also won't stop once I give them these gadgets.  They also lose focus of the real world and boom, our communication stops.

That's why I see mobile applications as a distraction.  But it changed when I got invited by Samsung to review their newest educational app for kids called KidsTime.  Samsung KidsTime helps in managing and improving child development. It has a number of features which I am thankful for and I highly appreciate. 
Samsung KidsTime Mobile App

Brand Ambassadorship Video Shoot Behind-The-Scenes

Hello Loves!  I am very excited to share with you that Mommy Practicality had been chosen as one of three blogger partners in the Philippines by a very prestigious, exciting, and well-known global brand.

Pause, let me BREATHE!  WHEW!  Continue...

I posted this photo on my Facebook page already and I want to share with you the story behind this photo.
I love everything about this set, comfy chair, colored brick wall and the cute owl plush!

Birthday Boys' Practical #OOTDs

September is the birthday month of my two boys.  The older future-performing-artist-basketball-player turned 11, and the little charmer-singer turned four.  If we'll have another baby, we're planning for him or her to be born on September too.  The idea is just cute, at least for me.

Sometimes I disagree when they say, it's more practical that my kids celebrate their birthdays at the same month, because I will only prepare one party for both.  No.  We don't actually do that.  We make sure we treat each child specially on their special day.  They have their individual cakes and they have individual house parties too (house party since the little one turned two).  September, (apart from June and December) is one of the most expensive months in a year for our family.

But if there's one that's not too expensive it's the styling I have for my boys.  Let me share with you their birthday suits! :)
On Wes:
Top: JusTees (Sale only P150.00 at SM Store)
Bottom: CDN Kids (Available at SM Store)
Shoes: Osh Kosh (Robinsons Magnolia)

It Still Hurts At Three, A Poem for my Mom

I never understood how painful it was for a bereaved son or daughter until I became one with the sudden passing of my mother.  It's been three months already and I still find myself crying in one corner of the house when I think of her and wish she's still here to celebrate life with us all.  I cannot express well my emptiness and sadness through a status or a blog post, so I just wrote a lovely poem for her.

I know I'm not the only daughter in the world that lost a mom because of cancer.  I know too if you're like me, you could somehow relate to how I am feeling.  Let me share with you a simple poem I made for her.  I just wish I could still hug her, take care of her and tell her how much I love her.

IT STILL HURTS AT THREE
by Louise Antonette D. Fandiño

I know you're now happy
Because you're now free
From earthly pain, sadness, hardships and suffering
But it still hurts at three

It's been months that had passed
Time flew by that fast
But until when will this last, I ask
The emptiness is just to vast

I've accepted and let go right after
But when I think of you I shatter
Loving memories of you will always linger
Your presence we all still long for

When you left, I promised I'll be fine
I'll take care of everything you left behind
Though it's hard to do it, I know in time
Close to your perfection, in what I do, I shall find

At times I sit crying remembering you
Your voice, your laughter and everything you do
I miss the morning chats and even the little arguments we get into
Losing all that now is something I should get used to

I pray hard to God everyday
That by His side and grace you now stay
The sadness in our hearts hopefully fades away
"I love you Mommy" I wish I could still personally say to you all day

It's been a while but it still hurts at three
I know I should move on and set this pain free
From heaven I hope you could see
How we all miss you and wish you were still here.