Chef Laudico Guevarra's Buffet Restaurant Experience

Last Valentine's Day, M and I decided to celebrate the day over our favorite past time, FOOD.  And what better way to devour (lots of) food than to experience it over buffet, the- Chef Laudico Guevarra's Buffet - way!
Chef Laudico Guevarra's Buffet Restaurant

Simple Mango Float Recipe

I admit, I'm not a contender to the Most Valuable Domesticated Mommy award.  Because as a full-time working mom, I rarely have time to cook or bake anything.  But like any other working mom, I'm kind of sure of this, I wish I could stay more at home and fulfill the domesticated roles like, first and foremost, take care of the kids, next cook all meals for the family and maybe sometimes bake or prepare dessert for them.   But don't get me wrong, I do cook, and my family says I cook well (they're a fan or they must really love me that much).  Unfortunately, I only get to cook real meal on weekends and desserts occasionally.

Such as this one time.

I checked the refrigerator, found two packs of all purpose cream and a can of condensed milk.  So I said why not whip up something my kids love, Mango Float!  It's very easy to do and no baking needed, only the ingredients, a good piling mechanism, and refrigerator.

So here's my Simple Mango Float Recipe!

What you'll need:

  • 2 cups of Ripe Mangoes
  • 2 tetra packs of All Purpose Cream
  • 3/4 cup of Condensed Milk
  • 1 pack of Grahams Cracker

Di Lang Ligo ang Ligo! It's So Much More with JOHNSON'S Baby

Since the time I became a mom, bath time for my kids has always been a pleasant and fun experience for them and me as well.  I love the scent of the oil I use to massage them before bathing, their shampoo and their baby soap as well.  More than just cleansing, I really have seen bath time as a time for bonding, playing and having fun with the kids.  A lot of singing, bubble playing, bath time story-telling going on in the bathroom.

After attending Johnson's Baby So Much More global launch event a few weeks ago, I found out that while treating bath time as a bonding time with kids and cleansing, it's also important for the child's congnitive development.  I guess I belong to the whopping 45% of the parents surveyed in the Philippines who didn't see this importance hence, Philippines has the shortest bath time duration for babies - 15 minutes vs. the global average of 23 minutes.
Johnson's Baby So Much More

LEGO Sunday Brunch at Spectrum, Fairmont Makati Hotel

For a parent of two boys who adore LEGO endlessly, I got very excited when we were invited to spend a lovely LEGO Sunday Brunch at Spectrum, Fairmont Makati Hotel.
LEGO is my younger one's current (if you consider one year and a half still current) favorite toy and he's the number one fan of Emmet of The LEGO Movie.  So just imagine how loudly he shrieked upon seeing this giant Emmet display in the middle of Spectrum.

Compilation of Valentine's Day #WhoGoat and Pick-Up Lines

Hello!  Since it's the love month and I am pretty much excited to experience with my loved ones (that includes my sons) like you, I'm compiling a super hit #WhoGoat and Pick-Up lines which could surely tickle the love bones of your lovey-dovey!  Are you ready?

Since I have a hang-over of the "That Thing Called Tadahana" movie, I'll start with:

2015 Summer Workshops, Lessons and Sports Clinics for Kids in Metro Manila

Summer or school break is just around the corner (What?!  2015 has just kicked in, and it's already summer?)!  If like me, you're already thinking which summer workshops, lessons or sports clinics to enroll your kids, then this early compilation of summer activities in Metro Manila is perfect for you.  

I always believe in developing our children's multiple intelligence and this doesn't stop with academics alone.  Let's keep them busy this summer by introducing them to new learning or mastering the skills or talents they already have and take it to the next level.  

This list of summer workshops, lessons and sports clinics will cover the following interests: Performing and Visual Arts, Academics, Sports, Personality Development and Culinary.  I will be updating this post regularly as I receive more information from different schools and establishments offering summer activities for kids in Metro Manila.  So make sure you come back for more! :)

2015 List of Summer Workshops, Lessons and Sports Clinics for Kids in Metro Manila

Registration Period: February 13 to April 30, 2015
Registration Venue: All participating McDonald’s stores
Registration Fee: PHP 595.00 (includes shirt, cap, bag, artwork materials, pins/badges at the end of every activity, certificate and meals for 5 days)
Workshop Period: Workshop proper starts on March 23. Orientation of parents/guardians and exact schedule of workshop will be given by the restaurant where your kid is enrolled.
Workshop Activities:
Values formation lecture: Teamwork, handwork, responsibility, discipline, sharing
On-the-floor training: front counter, drive-thru, lobby
Workshops: Apron Making, Burger Making, Talent Workshop, Jazz-Up Hat, Design Your Own Happy Meal Box
Song and Dance: Kiddie Crew Theme Song, Do-the-Ronald, Dance Exercise

To download Registration Form and for more information, visit McDonald's website.
2015 Summer Workshops, Lessons, Activities, and Sports Clinics for Kids in Metro Manila

#DearMommyPracticality: Wife Earns More, What To Do?

Dear Mommy Practicality,

Just call me Juan, a full-time working dad in a banking institution.  I’ve been married for ten years to a wonderful and hardworking wife, who also works full-time to help with the household expenses and to help with the needs of our children.  Nahihiya talaga ako sumulat, but I need an advice from a woman, a wife and a mother herself such as you, and hopefully po pati mga readers niyo.  Basically, we don’t have a major problem as a couple, but I have a problem with myself.  A problem which is eating me alive and my wife doesn’t even know about it.

This has been going on for several years already since my wife became a manager in the company she works for.  More or less, you get the idea that she earns way more and her career is way better than mine. 
My wife is wonderful, she is a good mother to my children and she has never made me feel down considering that she earns (and of course spends and contributes more to our family expenses) more.  But when my children asks me for something which I cannot provide, she doesn’t have any idea that my heart is broken to pieces each time.  I cannot take her out to dates as much as I want.  I cannot give her gifts, even if she deserves it.  It’s all because I don’t have an extra, even if I already commute to work everyday, ride the pedicab while I see my tropas’ cars pass by me, and regularly bring baon to work (usually left-overs) still, I don’t have enough savings.  I am crushed each time, I feel so little, insecure and nearing depression.  

She doesn’t know about this, because I don’t want her to lose her respect towards me.  I always give her an impression I’m tough and I’m okay, but actually I am not, I am broken.  I’m eating my pride everyday whenever my brothers and I and my friends and I meet up every now and then and ask each other’s achievements and statuses.  So most of the time, I just stay at home to avoid these conversations.  Please tell me what to do.  I badly need help.

Thank you and more power!

Mr. Juan

Dear Mr. Juan,
First of all, thank you for entrusting your story to me and the blog readers.  Before I replied to your letter, I asked my hubby for his insights.  To start off, he said, to make marriages and any relationship work, apart from love, trust and respect, an open communication is key.  You should be able to tell your wife about what you feel because you exchanged vows to be together for richer or poorer.   

I’m also sure, as a woman myself who has strong instincts, that she could sense something is wrong, but maybe she just couldn’t initiate the talk.  Sometimes, because of these sensitivities, your partner is just waiting for you to make the first move.  Or maybe, she really doesn’t have any clue, because she may be busy with so many things and juggling work with motherhood and wife duties.  I’m sure your wife would like to help you cope up with the insecurity you may be feeling right now because of financial standing you have.  

Personally speaking, there were times or certain years that I have a better career standing than hubby, and there are times, I’m the one financially challenged.  As a couple, we talk about it.  We talk about everything actually, the kids, expenses, plans, businesses, making money, parenting styles, and the relationship itself.  While we try to weave everything together, there are mishaps and crooked strings along the way.  Life is like a wheel, sometimes you’re up sometimes you’re down.   I suggest that you talk it out with your wife.  Let her know how you feel and let her know how she could help you rise above your struggles.  
Photo Source
I also read in a book by Bo Sanchez, that for a man to be truly happy, one should stop comparing himself to others.  If others are more blessed, be happy for them and the sincerity of you being happy for them will come back a hundredfold.  You may try to ask for advice from them or look for another job that will be fulfilling for you morally and financially.  I’m sure you are a wonderful man as well because your wonderful wife married you!  If seeing your friends and updating each other bring you down, pause for a while from the regular meet-ups and focus on the family and on bettering your already bests.

On gifting your wife or taking her out for a date, there are so many solutions to that.  Here’s a secret (for sure you already know this!), a heartfelt love letter, a spontaneous slow dance, holding her hand in public, whispering how much you love her, cooking her favorite meal, telling her she’s beautiful, and massaging her feet, they ALL WORK WONDERS!  And to think I haven’t added- Make Love to her – on the list yet!  No need to spend to let her feel she’s loved and special.

I do hope I was able to help you sort things out somehow.  Communicate with your wife and let her know how she could help you with your situation.  Lastly, pray together that you and your family will be blessed more.  Just be faithful to HIM, trust HIM, because HE provides and HE loves you and your beautiful family.

Mommy Practicality

~ Dear readers, our letter sender is requesting your advice as well.  Do you have anything to add on what I wrote to him?  Have you gone through the same situation in your married life?  What did you do that helped you cope with it?  Please do share.  Thank you!~

Being A Mother Completed and Changed Me

Being a mother is not just a title, it’s a role which not everyone could carry out with a breeze.  It’s both a blessing and a crazy life mission.  But one thing is for sure, it’s the most beautiful thing that could happen to a woman.  I could talk about craziness all day, but it’s a beautiful kind of crazy.  I wasn’t as OC as I am now, before being a mom.  But when I became one eleven years ago, being organized and making sure everything is complete are what kept me on toes even up to this day.
Dandre has just turned seven when Wes was born in 2010. :)  They complete me!:)

Why I Cried When I Discovered Something About My Son

I know the feeling of most moms who are damn proud to see their child perform on stage during a school activity, or finish first in a swimming or running competition or even get recognition for academic excellence.  Who wouldn't right?  For a mom, her child is the best among the rest, agree?

Let me tell you a story about this feeling I felt recently when I heard my first-born play his cover or "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran.  Flashback to his birthday last year, he told me at the start of the year at that, to already save up for a Nike basketball shoes as his birthday gift.  So we did.  I even reserved a pair a month before his birthday to ensure we have his size.  But when his birthday month kicked in, he changed his mind.  He was sure that he wanted a guitar.
The day we bought his first guitar.  September, 2014

Motherhood For Two: On Adjusting, Balancing and Learning

You may ask me and any mom, and we will tell you the same main reason why our Mommyhood department is joyful.  The answer is, our CHILDREN.  
No matter how sleep deprived, tired, sometimes abused (physically, mentally, financially, and even psychologically! lol), I would never trade being a mother to anything in this world!  I am a little bit sentimental lately about my role as a mother to my seven-year apart sons.  I feel like I regularly have to check on myself and assess how I fair as their mother.    

Parenting style and communication are different for these two stages.  They are almost a decade apart.  So when we're together in a room, I consciously shift my tone and even the extent of my patience to both.  But one thing I am mindful at all times is how I express my LOVE, admiration, and fairness to both boys.  I don't want any of them to think or feel that one is more loved or that I pay more attention to the other.   I know it will be a continuous process until such time when they are both mature enough to know the magic motherhood tricks I do all their growing up life.
From as early as the little one was still in my womb and while my then seven-year old awaited his younger brother’s arrival, I already conditioned my first-born and prepared him for the next chapter of our family life.

I involved him every step of the way (talking and singing to the baby in the tummy, purchasing baby items, nursing, and even bathing).  He welcomed his brother lovingly and it was such a great feeling to witness how much happy it made him to see his tiny baby brother.

Forward to when the baby moved to toddler stage, while teaching the younger one how to walk, talk, sing, the ABCs, 123s, colors, and simple manners, I was teaching a different set of values, lessons, chores, money handling, and friendship matters to the older one. 
Today, both of them are undergoing transition in their childhood stages.  Kuya is entering adolescence in less than two years and the younger one will start his formal schooling in June.  I am preparing the psyches of both my boys at the same phase and (hopefully) in the same amount of attention and time. 

I may have gone through what I am going through now with the younger one because of my parenting experiences with his Kuya, but it’s still different because they have different personalities.  So it’s like a totally new experience all over again with the little one. 

Presently, I teach a different set of lessons to the older boy.  It now focuses on topics about serious studying habits, household chores, attraction to the opposite sex, relationships, developing his skills and talents, and being more matured.  I also talk to him about love for family, responsibilities, priorities, consequences of actions, value of trust and current events.  I was told by a parenting guru, that at the child’s age of 10-11, my clock is already ticking until my older son stops wanting me around, starts doing more activities outside family and wants to be with other people more such as his friends or maybe a crush, a special girl.  That NOW is the time for me to make my last hurrah in making sure he’s ready for the next stage in his life.

Just the thought of this is breaking my heart.  But I am preparing myself already for that stage too.  I cannot stop my children from growing, from discovering things for themselves, and exploring what’s out there for them.

You see, as I make an effort every single day to be a present parent to them and intentionally teach them only the good and practical things about life, I also learn from them and the experience at the same time.  It’s a cycle of loving, teaching and learning.  I want to share so much and as much as I can to my children because like any parent of a child, I want my children to grow up as fine young men who are God-fearing, kind, intelligent, talented, smart, compassionate, honest, honorable, responsible and hopefully as good leaders in their respective fields.  I want them to be able to contribute to the community, to the society, and to the country in their own little ways.  It starts by having a good heart and a strong will to make a difference.

Any parent aspires that for their children.  As I work through achieving at least half of what my dreams are for them, of course I have to self-study, I have to learn from the success stories of others, and most importantly learn from the dynamics and uniqueness of my children individually.  I have to learn how to adjust to their different personalities, moods, skills, intellectual capacities, talents and every else that make up their individualities.  In learning from my children, I would be able to fulfill my mother role to them accordingly.   

I can say that no parenting style is exactly alike because no child of any parent is alike, at all.  I always say, to each his own.  As long as what you are teaching and doing for your children works for their positive physical, mental, emotional, and psychological development, then you're doing a great job.  Every child entrusted to us by God to nurture, to protect, to teach, to mold, is a blessing.  Therefore, parenting these little humans formed inside our wombs miraculously, is indeed a blessing.  No matter how hard you think it is, (because it really, truly is) it is a wonderful gift from God.

I love my children so much and if you're a parent too, I can just imagine how you always wept tears of joy whenever your child says "I love you" back, kisses and hugs you or reaches a milestone.  It's pure joy, an indescribable amount of internal happiness, when you always think of and prioritize what's best for your child.  It's a blessing to witness these gifts of God grow and learn with you.

They will not be with us for as long as we want them under our care, but by surrounding them with LOVE and teaching them well, our children will make us proud and will forever make our hearts full and happy.

~These are the adjustments I make and wonderful experiences I have each day.  Do you have more than one child?  What are your thoughts on motherhood and parenting?  I'd love to know, please do share. ~