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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Milestone: Lost A Tooth Today

We first discovered her loose tooth 2 days ago. We attempted to remove it right then and there because it seemed to be loose enough to pull but I was wrong and the kid fell to drama mood so I decided to wait.

While I was wiggling the tooth (made sure that finger was clean):

"(sob) Is it going to be painful????" (sob)

"No, it won't be...but okay we'll just wait for it to come off on its own"

"But how will I eat? What if I swallow it?"

"I'm sure you won't swallow it. You will feel it once it comes off"


Two days later, we decided to let her skip school because she was feeling dizzy and nauseous. It was probably a combination of a lot of things (drowsiness, cold and maybe oil/lactose intolerance?), she was already crying while I was dressing her up. She actually didn't want to skip school and was worried about her Filipino class activity later (they were asked to bring a few cut out pictures). I assured her I will write to her teacher and that calmed her down.

After throwing up her breakfast, the tooth came off too.

A photo posted by Faye and Maia Paras (@chroniclesofmaia) on

Thursday, October 16, 2014

School Immersion First Grade Edition

Kumusta kaya ang araw mo, Maia? Bigla ka namin naalala ng sabay ng Daddy mo. Naisip namin sana matawagan ka man lang namin para kamustahin. Pero naisip din namin dadating din yun. Sa ngayon ayaw namin magmadaling bigyan ka ng telepono hehe . Ang aga mong nagising kanina. Sobrang eksayted ka sa araw na to. "Di na ako inaantok! Bangon na ako baka maiwanan ako". Enjoy ka anak! Ikaw na lang kumaway pag nadaanan mo office ko :) #fieldtrip #schoolgirl #letterstomaia

Today, my little girl went to her first immersion (a.k.a. field trip) as a grade schooler. A month ago when this was announced, she immediately marked the date on our calendar. She was so excited we were reminded almost every day to make sure we bring her to school on time because she did not want to miss the bus!

So we were up early today. At 4am to be exact. And unlike the usual school days where it takes us at least 3x to hit the snooze button before someone finally jumps out of bed, she was first to rise and wake every one up!

We were in school 10 minutes before the call time of 6am. Ah despite of the 2 hour delay, she spelled the day in 3 letters - F.U.N.

Her dad picked her up from school and on their way home, she had tons of questions and stories for him:
>Bakit andaming mesa sa bahay ni Jose Rizal, Daddy? (Why are there lots of tables in Jose Rizal's house, Daddy?)
>Ano ang ibig sabihin ng 24/7, Daddy? (What does 24/7 mean, Daddy?) Apparently noticing this signage from one of the popular burger joints she saw on the road.
>Daddy! Dinrowing ko na lang yung mga napuntahan namin kanina. Yung mga hindi ko na makita, inimagine ko na lang! (Daddy, I drew the places we've been to earlier. I just imagined those that were out of my sight already)

Our little artist. Our little storyteller. Our curious cat. Our princess.

Time flies. Sooooo fast.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


This morning we had a very interesting topic over breakfast.


She told us she gets teased often in school now. I bet the our daddy's heart was a bit crushed seeing how her little baby girl giggled at the mere mention of the word.

And yet, when we asked her if she knew what it meant - she still responded with a NO. So for now, we gave a simple explanation in the form of the word "LIKE". And we impliedly discouraged further use of the word "CRUSH".

But she did admit she gets "kilig". What is "kilig", Mommy?

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaay Maia. No wonder your daddy wants to freeze time now.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hello Grade School: Things We've Learned So Far

I thought when my kid finally sets her foot in big school, there will be plenty of opportunities for me to revisit my old selfish self. I thought there would be lesser late nights spent trying to catch up on assignments or coming up with reviewers. 

Well lucky for me, I have a good support system to back me up. I admittedly didn't have to spend too much time with assignments or reviewers as I usually come home to a first time grade schooler who is already sleeping soundly and comfortably. 

Yet, two months after the school season officially opened, here I am dazed from lack of sleep. Our household alarm goes off at 4:15 am Mondays to Fridays. We had to make sure breakfast is ready by 4:45 so the little miss will have enough time to eat before the school service arrives to pick her up at 5:15. 

Yes, you read that right - 5:15. Ridiculous is the first thing that came to my mind, when I was told about the pick up time. But then again, I am proud to say that my little gradeschooler is adjusting pretty well. The early wake up call is compensated by an early bedtime by 7pm. And she does not every single day with no complain, except on days when several chapter tests are line up the following day and she had to stay up till 8pm to finish reviewing. Those days are days she looks forward to like a reward day because those are the days when she can wake up an hour later and get a little extra treatment in the form of me or her dad personally dropping her off in school. (Ahhhh really, the joy of being a kid)

Grade school was a little bit tougher than what I thought it to be. I am still adjusting to the demands of it. Our entire household is. Happily though, this entirely new experience has demanded that each of us contribute something to make things easier. I've cleaned up the white board that has been idle for sometime now into our weekly breakfast/lunch menu board and the little girl enjoys planning her lunch menu with me. Now that she can read majority of the things I write, she doesn't miss to check what the next day's menu when we're having breakfast. 

I promised myself I was going to share our weekly baon list to help other moms who might be having the same difficulty planning their kid/s daily lunches but I unfortunately have yet to consciously make time for that. Right now, honestly, blogging would have to take the back seat again and I couldn't commit yet to make regular posts. For now, I end this post with the takeaways we had in the past 2 months as first time grade school parents.
  • Be consistent. Having learned the value of consistency early on in this parenting journey, this was easier to practice for us. Consistency is most important in setting schedules for reviewing the next day's lessons and implementing the sleeping time as well. 
  • Be present. Since we don't get to talk about how her day went before she goes to bed, we make sure we take the opportunity to do so during breakfast. We make it a point to eat breakfast together. Even at 4:45am. This is something our little girl looks forward to as well every single day.
  • Be involved. Even if I had to bring home work (which is rare nowadays, thankfully) I make it a point to check her diary. I leave a note for each of the teachers if there is something that concerns that little miss or if I need to clarify anything. Some days, I get a reply. Most days I don't but I still make sure I leave those notes. And we've been present in all parent's meetings so far. They were helpful and we take the opportunity to talk to the teachers as well in those events. 
  • ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE! Kids are very perceptive. And in my kid's case, since she really feels we're always happy to hear her stories about school, she volunteers them without our prodding now. She's gone far from the little timid girl she was just a little over 3 feet tall when she started going to formal school. Although we secretly wish she stays 5 longer, it's always refreshing to hear her growing up stories. And we always make time for it no matter how busy and tired we are. 

Recipe: Vegan Brownies

The little girl was invited to an impromptu playdate down at the village pool this afternoon. I didn't know what to prepare since our pantry was almost empty.

Luckily, while I was searching for a brownie recipe I chanced upon this vegan brownie recipe. I had all the ingredients on hand except for eggs and this one didn't call for eggs so I got all the ingredients out and prepared to bake.

I would wish I can come up with a dessert that will require less oil  (if possible, none at all) but that will have to wait for another day.

#Vegan #brownies for the kids swim playdate later :)

I was a little anxious at how this experiment would turn out but in the end, it proved to me that you can never go wrong with chocolate.

The recipe did not need much tweaking but let me just type it all in here for easy reference (in case you are like me who doesn't like to jump from one page to another)

Vegan Brownies
Yields: 16 brownies
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

What you will need:

 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
 2 cups white sugar
 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolates
 1 teaspoon baking powder
 1 teaspoon salt
 1 cup water
 1 cup vegetable oil
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I added 1 more extra vanilla in here)
 a pinch of cinnamon
 colorful sprinkles

What you need to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
3. Pour in water, dark chocolate, vegetable oil and vanilla; mix until well blended.
4. Spread evenly in a 9x9 inch square baking pan.
5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is no longer shiny.
6. Take out of oven when toothpick comes off clean. Add colored sprinkles on top.
7. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

It was a hit among the kids and yayas. I even brought some for my officemates to sample the following day and they loved it too.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How Fast Time Flies Grade 1 Edition

This phase of our school adventure has given me enough validation for being a camwhoring momma during my little miss's early childhood years.

She was asked to bring 7 photos to school this week, depicting each of her growing up years starting from infancy and while I was picking the photos I can't help but chuckle.

Look at how she's grown!

If you are a new mom, I encourage you to take pictures of each moment of your kid's growing up years. Although my energy has waned, I still grab any chance I get to freeze a certain moment and encapsulate it in a photo. Such joy to really watch your kid grow through photos.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Maia Recommends: Engineering For Kids - Philippines

Did Science ever interest you as a kid?

It really did for me. Well, it was probably due to my dad's (who is a mechanical engineer) influence and he really did talk day in and day out about science at home. He trained us to approach problems the scientific way and that really helped me a lot in solving my daily dilemmas, not only as a kid but even now as an adult.

I wanted my kid to develop interest in Science too. But I guess I was never like my dad. And since both my husband and me have day jobs that wasn't directly connected to science, it wasn't a topic that is often discussed at home. I didn't push anymore, I figured since she's now in grade school, she will eventually figure out for herself if Science is something that she likes or not.

Thankfully though, I didn't have to wait long to get my answer. A couple of weeks ago, a generous soul from Mommy Bloggers Philippines, a blogger group I belong to posted an invitation for interested mommies who would like to try out a session at the recently launched Engineering For Kids after school program at the BGC. I immediately grabbed the chance to introduce Science in a fun way to my little miss and signed up.

Finally last Saturday, the little miss and me trotted off to Bonifacio Global City with our mom-daughter partner in crime - Erl and Kelsea - to try out the Aerospace Engineering session. We made it just in time (despite the delay that Maia and I caused) for class after travelling for an hour. Thanks to Erl for the free ride. If we were commuting, I would probably have to allot at least an hour and a half since I was coming from Cavite. Good thing we picked the 9am schedule so the traffic on the roads was still free flowing. 

When we got to the venue, the kids immediately got themselves seated while Erl and I were briefed about basic info of the program. We were handed a kit that contained the list of what the offerings were for the month and a flyer that discussed the history of the program. We learned that Engineering for Kids Ph is a franchise from the US. It was started by a mom-teacher who saw the rising need for an after school program that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. 

There are two classes offered: Juniors (4-6 yo kids) and Apprentice (7-14 yo kids). Every month, they offer new sets of topics/projects for each of the programs offered. Weekend rate is P4500 while the weekday rate is P6600 (if I remember correctly). There are 4 sessions per month for the weekend class and 6 sessions for weekday class.

The class that Maia and Kelsea tried was under the Aerospace Engineering program and for the day, the project that they were designated to work on is Stomp Rocket. The class was a group of 6 kids - 4 boys and 2 girls (Maia and Kelsea). They started off the class with a brief introduction of the parts of the rocket. Teacher Em started it with a song which immediately got the kids' attention. After about 15 minutes, the kids started working on the rocket. Before we knew it, the allotted one hour was up and the kids had started taking turns stomping on the makeshift rocket launcher.

She went back to stomp a couple more times. Gone was that timid little girl.
But while the boys couldn't wait to get their foot on the stomp rockets, the little girls took their sweet time making their rockets pretty. Maia was so proud of her rocket she immediately ran to hug me when it went up so high it almost touched the ceiling. It was a fun class and the way the activity was structured, I doubt if the kids even realized they were dealing with Science at all. I just hope a few years from now when the kid starts to study physics she would remember this experience.

Class picture minus Kelsea (Do you know how to add her via Photoshop, Erl?)
Would I recommend it? If you live near BGC, I would. But if you live farther (down South like us or up North in QC), I don't know if the travel would be all worth it since the class runs for only an hour. Or best to just call and ask where the other branches are located.

Engineering for Kids is offering early bird discount till August 8 so if this is something that you are interested to try, contact them at:

Tel Nos: (02) 224.4170 / 0917.551.8705

They are currently doing classes at the Function room, 5/F of Forbeswood Parklane, Rizal Drive, BGC, Taguig. More info at their website:

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Maia's Favorite: Saranggola Ni Pepe

Salamat sa gumawa ng You Tube video na ito. Tuwang-tuwa ang aking anak habang paulit ulit na nakikinig sa kantang ito!

Nakahanap na kami ng kakantahin niya sa kanyang Pambatang Awitin sa iskul.

Ang pinakapaborito niyang parte ng kanta "Hinuli ng ibon, pinagsuot ng pantalon...Tinali ng pisi hindi na pinagsinturon"

Sa unang pagkakataon, na-imagine niya ang sinasabi ng kanta. Non-stop ang kanyang tawa talaga.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Maia's Favorite: Milo Dinosaur

As most little kids (and the not-so-little even) are, my little miss is also fond of chocolate drinks. She weaned from the bottle early. By the time she turned two, we said goodbye to formula milk. Gladly, she was never really picky with all the milk we tried and tested for her. Eventually, she decided for herself and settled on chocolate flavored milk (yes that popular brand that just couldn't decide what is it exactly -- gatas na choco or choco na gatas?, the little miss is low maintenance like that). Since then, that has been her daily choice. Although for the past 2 years, she only takes about a glass of milk daily and usually before bedtime.

Last summer, her love for chocolate milk was replaced by this latest discovery - Milo Dinosaur. Why is it called Milo Dinosaur, you ask? Wikipedia doesn't have much to say but to quote: the "Dinosaur" in the beverage's name on its own means "[a] heap of Milo or Horlickspowder on the iced drink"

How is it made, exactly? Well, it's really just a glass of Milo topped with the powder. But we add a spoonful or two of condensed milk to sweeten it a bit more. (no wonder it's a hit among kids, no?).

In a 16 oz glass:

4 heaping tbsps of Milo
2 tsps of condensed milk (no particular brand for us)
about 1/4 cup of hot water
a cup of ice
a shaker/container

Cover the bottom of the shaker/cover container (I usually use a mason jar) with condensed milk add 3 tablespoons of Milo dissolved in hot water, dump in the ice and shake to your heart's content. Once mixed thoroughly, uncap the cover and top with the remaining Milo powder.

A pack of 300g Milo used to last our household two weeks or even more. But now, our consumption has doubled. Since the kid has been skipping the bedtime milk drink for a few months now, I also sometimes opt to use fresh milk instead of plain water. She doesn't mind. As long as there's still a good portion of Milo on top of the glass.

What about your little kids? Are they fond of chocolate drinks too?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Baon Ideas: What To Pack For Light Lunch/Snacks

In two days, my little girl is going to start a fresh adventure as a grade schooler. We're all set. I managed to get everything done at crunch time. Books all covered, bag's packed and ready, school uniform waiting to be pressed, organized her drawers and sorted everything out (socks, undies, hankies and towels). Am I excited? Or am I excited? Can you tell? Haha.

I'm all set...except for the menu plan for her snacks and light lunch. We just learned a few days ago that her school schedule overlaps lunch break and now that school day is getting nearer I'm starting to panic (only in my head. i'm still smiling from ear to ear as I write this).

Thank God, I came across another blogger mom's post about baon ideas (thanks Mrs. C!) and I had a light bulb moment. Some days, the pack rat in me comes handy indeed. I dug up some of Maia's old menus when she still was enrolled in a "nutrition program" in school. I'm partly wishing they still offer that in grade school because that would really save me from the headache of planning menus week in and week out. I guess the good thing about this is I don't have to crack my head thinking about the household menu as well. The challenge here is for me to come up with a sustainable way to plan this (or maybe find a way to delegate the task to Ate Inday without me having to closely monitor).

For now, I will rely on the ones listed on the little girl's previous nutrition program menus. What's good about it is, they sent us copies of the menus and it was good for one quarter. At least I am safe for the next 8 weeks or so. And I know that they have been tested and proven since the kid hardly went home with left overs then.

Also I have a couple of the little girl's favorites that I've shared here and they will probably going to see their way into our weekly menus more frequently from now on. Unless, I find a way to convince the preschool canteen to still offer the nutrition program to the little miss at least for this year.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Are You Ready For The Next School Year?

My little girl officially starts her new adventures as a grade schooler in a couple of weeks.

Are we excited? Of course!

But if you believe in "action speaks louder than words", that might not really properly translate to us being very excited to have a grade schooler this year.

I did school supplies shopping rather late this year. I got sucked into a blackhole the entire summer and I barely got out of it alive. But thankfully, I'm back. Not in my best self yet but I'm just happy to report...I AM BACK.

So the cramming worked. I finished labeling most of her stuff and checked off and packed those items that we needed to deposit to school on the first day of class. Although I have yet to buy her books and cover them up. The little girl's books need to be covered because based on experience, a few months into the school year, you'd normally see her books looking like it's almost the end of the school year. Have to work on teaching the kid how to be more careful of books and school stuff.

This year, thankfully, I didn't have to buy a lot of school supplies anymore. Some of them, I still had stocks from previous years so I didn't have to buy anymore. I was actually tempted to recycle even her crayons but I found a cheap box (toxic-free, made by a trusted yet practically priced brand and looks every bit like the expensive brand) of 24's in SM Hypermart and I kind of still remember how good the smell of newly bought school supplies were (hehehe, I'm weird yes) so I didn't want to take that feeling away from my kid.

The only difficult task I had to do now is train the kid to sleep early and wake up early yet again. Her sleeping schedule changed drastically this summer (and yes, I'm partly blaming my blackhole tale for that) and we need to reverse that soon! Please send me good luck vibes. And may we reach our goal by the end of this week.

I am well aware of more challenges coming when we officially welcome the school season. I still have not thought about mid-morning snacks menu planning, for one. And we're still waiting to get her uniforms shipped from Angeles (we thought we can find a cheap mananahi there but turned out to an epic fail too). I can probably list  a dozen more but I've decided I am taking them one challenge at a time. This strategy worked well, in the past. I hope it still will, this time.

Crammer moms, unite! :)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Arts-N-Crafts: Looms and Colored Bands

I just recently found a new, effortless, no-sweat (well, except nowadays when the daytime summer temp never goes lower than 37) and very cheap way to relax myself.

And what is that?

I was down to just this few bits after spending about an hour sorting nearly a thousand bands. Haha.
Ibang level lang ang addiction.
Sorting rubber bands according to color. Last week, I went to Divisoria with my friend Scarlet and we kind of spent 1/3 of our time checking out loom bands. I finally bought a loom kit and burned a couple of hundreds on different colored bands.

I know. It's kind of riding on the latest craze. And so not me at all.

Early this year when I first heard of rainbow looms, I actually was a bit intimidated by it. I wanted to encourage the little miss to try the activity but I couldn't find cheap kits then. But I did find it very creative and I think also quite a nice exercise to test her skills on following instructions since you will have to check out tutorials before you can develop your own designs (well, that is my opinion).

But yes, sooooo expensive for my taste. (I know, I've always been a cheap-o. Not ashamed of it)

Enter friends in facebook announcing Divisoria's latest "hot" product. I just have to find an excuse to finally go and check out what is there to check out. There were plenty (too bad was too scared to take out my phone and steal a few photos)! What's even great, pasok sa budget (which was a mere 500 pesoses if I recall it right).

I just love seeing the colorful mix of the bands. And well, browsing through tutorials kind of revived my dormant crafty [albeit self-confessed] self. I wanted the little girl to get hooked on it thinking this would at least help in getting half of her attention away from her latest favorite (Thank you Lolo Boy for this priceless gift!) toy but sadly, it was me who got hooked and I have yet to find the best way to curve her gadget use.

A few minutes or sometimes [if I'm lucky] an hour during the day though, I am still able to convince her to sit with me. And sort the bands. Hmmm come to think of it, we still bond at least.

A few of my creations just this week. (clockwise: triple single, railroad, inverted fishtail, single loop, single squared loop, Maia's favorite design - the fishtail, and the diamond)
But yes, sorting is such a relaxing activity. I burn at least an hour a weekend doing this. And I'm a better person because of it! [seriously haha]

p.s. I usually view tutorials from this site: Loom Love. But pinterest has plenty of tutorials as well.

Friday, June 6, 2014

No More Goodbye Kisses!

i wanted to kiss you goodbye today before i left for work today. but i was already out of the door so i asked you to open up and come out to give me my kiss.

did you?

sadly no. you just stood behind the screen door and gestured bye bye to me.

"ganito na lang mommy!" **you kissed your palms and blew me kisses**

sigh. you are now busy doing your own thing. you are now starting to build your own world.
and no room for mommies anymore.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I Wanna Go Home, Mommy!

Day 3 of your weeklong vacation and you finally caved in!

Not that I'm happy but it makes me feel good to know, you still need me after all!

You were messaging me at least once every hour either with "I miss you, Mommy!" or "Mommy call again, please"

The clincher was actually when you messaged me with "I want to go home, mommy!" Right that minute, I wanted to leave the office and ride that bus to bring you home.

I ached to hug you, baby girl. But we have to endure for now and be thankful that there is such an invention called Skype. At least we get to see you before you text us "goodnight!"

Be good, out there Maia! Be considerate. Be nice. Be a listener and stay obedient.

Play, play, play!!! Have fun! Enjoy your day!

We will see you soonest, our pretty little miss!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Milestone: First Time To Vacation On Her Own

Our dearest Maia,

I hope you take time to read this letter every day while you are vacationing there. We miss you already but we hope you are having a great time out there.

LISTEN, OBEY, RESPECT. Please remember always, okay?

Eat your veggies. Drink lots of water.

Say please and thank you, all of the time.

Don’t talk to strangers. Stay with lola and your cousins all of the time. Please do not leave the house unless you are with Lola.

Put baby salve on your allergies.  

Play outdoors! Don’t spend too much time on TV, phone and computer.

Answer mommy’s calls. Keep your phone near you every time.

Say your nighttime prayers.

See you on Saturday!!! I hope you grow taller and bigger by then!

Love you very, very much!

Daddy and Mommy


Our little miss is spending a week with her Lola and cousins. Our Ate Inday is away on vacation for a week and the best option we have right now is to have the kid spend the week away from us. Luckily, she got really excited when we told her about it. 

I wasn't though. 

And most parents could probably relate. But at some point, I know we'll be experiencing this every summer. It's just starting a little bit sooner that we'd expected. 

My nephew recently spent almost a month with us and his Nanay (my sister)sent him a couple of letters while he was here.I really thought they were sweet and very thoughtful gestures so I wrote Maia one too (albeit an advanced letter hahaha, talk about atat) and printed it out tonight. I secretly inserted it in one of the notebooks I packed for her to doodle in. I asked her if she can write a note for me on that notebook every day to let me know what she did every day. 

She hasn't left yet and I miss her already. Sigh.

Recipe: Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have I already mentioned I'm a dessert monster? Although I try to be very conscious of my sugar intake, dessert will always be my weakness. Luckily, my little girl never really got addicted to sugar. It probably helped that I delayed the introduction of sweets to her till she was almost a year old. We don't have to tell her to stop eating candies and chocolates. She usually just stops after a piece or two.

I hope she keeps that self control even if I've been spending a lot of time with our oven of late. My latest baking adventure has yielded this soft, chewy creation which was actually inspired by my baking idol, Maggie!

Mags and I both agreed this would probably level up if you added a few chunks of macadamia nuts. I have yet to get my hands on some macadamia nuts but my taste testers (the hubs and the little girl of course) both gave their approvals already.

Maggie's cookies looked waaaay better than the ones I baked. I didn't get the chance to bookmark the recipe she shared to me earlier so I made do with the recipe that I already had printed out from Sally's Baking Addiction.

My little girl is also visiting her lola and her cousins for a week and so I packed her a dozen of these to give as pasalubongs to her cousins. I hope they liked it!

What you will need:
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (i just cut a bar of butter in half), softened to room temp
3/4 cup muscovado sugar
1 egg, at room temp, slightly whisked
1/4 cup white granulated sugar (refined sugar)
1 tbsp filled milk
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 1/2 tsps red food coloring (I used liquid)
about 80 grams of white chocolate chip cookies (you could use more, the original recipe actually called for 180grams)
ready to bake!
sometimes, i do amaze myself. all this time it's all been purely muscle power that i've been using to cream butter and sugar. so really, if you really want to learn to bake you don't have to have plenty of equipment to do it.

food color and dry ingredients added!
white chocolate chip cookies galore!
How I did it:

1. Combine all the dry ingredients - flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt (I just used a wire whisk).
2. In a separate bowl, cream the butter until smooth then add the sugar and mix thoroughly.
3. Add egg, milk, and vanilla. Mix well and add the food coloring next.
4. Continue to mix then add the dry ingredients gradually (I did this in 3 sets so I didn't have a hard time mixing everything when the dough started to stiffen. Mix in the white chocolate chips. Cover dough with plastic wrap and freeze for about 30mins (or refrigerate for at least an hour)
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (around 180 Celsius).
6. When ready to bake, take our frozen dough and cut to about 1/2 inch thick and form into a ball. Line baking pans with parchment paper and place each of the cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart. I added colored sprinkles to some of the dough since the colors will look attractive to the kids.
7. Bake for about 12-15 mins (top most layer of my oven).
8. Take our from oven after baking time is finished. Let cookies cool on the sheets for around 5 mins and then transfer to wire rack to cool.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Lunch At Pamana Restaurant

Today was more of a spur of a moment thing. But having been burnt out at work for weeks now, I have been wanting (and needing) a reprieve (from the house, from the sight of my computer) even for just a few hours.

So even if the kids have been very vocal about hating commuting of late, they all agreed to give me some slack today and allowed me to finally embrace the reprieve that I've been yearning even if just briefly. We decided, albeit at the last minute, to head off to Tagaytay to celebrate mother's day. Last year, we also spent mother's day there at Bag of Beans. And since my nephew is vacationing with us as well, it would be nice to bring him up there as well too. Maia was excited to show him the place where Mommy and Daddy got married.

The plan was - hear mass and eat. And maybe visit a few sites if time would permit. Tibs did warn me though - manage my expectations. It's warm in Tagaytay now. And yes, the temperature didn't give us much options when we got there. After hearing the 11am mass in Lourdes, we walked a few meters towards Pamana Restaurant and that's about how we burned our time in Tagaytay.

No regrets though. I still was happy to "escape". And I finally made time to buy those plants that I've been asked to buy for my team's work area. (Kind of defied my purpose of escaping the thought of work, but at least I had a change of scenery. Which was enough for now, at least).

On Pamana Restaurant:

We ordered what we feel is just the appropriate thing to order when you're in Tagaytay - Bulalo and Crispy Tawilis. Tibs is a big fan of Binagoongang Baboy so we also tried that. We ordered their ube halohalo for Gogol and Sago't Gulaman for everyone else.

The Bulalo serving was too large for us. We should have just ordered small or medium and we still won't feel it's "bitin". We had leftovers for everything and it was good enough for another meal (yes, we had the same thing for dinner).

Price-wise we wished there were more of us to share, then the close to P2,000 bill wouldn't have really mattered. But sadly we were just a group of 3 adults and 2 kids who only devoured the cold desserts. Safe to probably budget at around 300/head if you are with the company of purely adults.

The restaurant is kid-friendly and on a Sunday, we just came at a perfect time (at around 11:30ish) because a few minutes after that hungry diners came rushing. We picked a table at the rooftop. We had a great view of Taal and it was pretty breezy considering the ultra hot summer temp. They could work on providing more toilets though because it really was a long line we had to endure just to get bladder relief. If you're with kids, that could be a really difficult situation to be in.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happiness is...

seeing your kid empty out her plate and hearing her happily declare "I love everything you cook, Mommy! They all taste great! I want to eat ALL of them!"

Shallow me, that announcement alone already made me feel like I got the best mother's day gift ever!

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! Christ our Savior is risen! Isn't that wonderful?

How are you celebrating Easter?

In my part of the world, Easter is usually celebrated by hearing religious mass as majority of the populace here are Catholics. We did that this morning (with the kid shooting question after question to me. I told her I will give her better answers next time, she just have to give me time to research) and we had shared breakfast at the nearby fastfood joint after. The kid was already very happy with that. Such fun to be a kid. They find joy in the simplest things.

Whatever race, religion, beliefs you may have...I wish you a wonderful, blessed, peaceful, restful Easter.

And as part of our Easter tradition, since egg hunting is still not very popular here, we'll do some crafts activities later this afternoon instead (when the kid wakes up from her long afternoon nap). She asked if we can do different eggs and bunnies later and I found some patterns we can use later. I just discovered this site and I'm starting to love it! Sharing it with you just in case you're looking for some crafts activities to do with your little kid/s later as well.

Easter Bunny and Egg Pattern and more Easter crafts in here. And the activity that started this tradition of our: family of bunnies.


Listen, Obey, Respect

I took a bath this morning but realized I forgot to bring the change of clothes that I prepared. I called the little miss and she responded instantly. I asked her if she can bring the clothes over and she didn't hesitate a single bit. She immediately brought the clothes over to me. I said thank you of course. And as always, she answers me with an enthusiastic "you're welcome, mommy" coupled with a radiant smile.

Some days, she comes inside the house sweaty from playing under the sun and I'd just simply instruct her to change her clothes and she would come out of the bedroom fresh. On weekend mornings when I would wish to sleep in for a few more minutes and her neighborhood friends are already calling for her to come out and play, I would just instruct her to brush her hair and put on a pair of shorts and she'd be out the door looking decent (and yes as if Mommy fixed her up first).

She can brush her own hair, fix her own snacks (a simple sandwich and warm milk usually), eat on her own, fill up her water bottle and replace it in the fridge. When we go out, I already assigned her to prepare her backpack and she would make sure she brings her necessities - a pack of wipes, a handkerchief or towel, a bottle of water, biscuits/crackers/cookies, a notebook and a pen, a toy.

Many parent friends have asked me how I trained my kid to be such a responsible and obedient kid. Sometimes I ask myself that too. I never followed any particular parenting philosophy but my own. I do read parenting articles from time to time. But only to get fresh insights but now never to look for tips. I have come to accept that my kid is unique on her own and I should pattern my parenting to her personality. One thing my husband and I have always stuck on to though was being firm and consistent. We have rules in the house and even as adults, we are not exempted from those rules. We try to be firm and consistent even to ourselves. We try to be the best models we can be. We try our hardest to walk the talk.

At 5 years and a half my little girl believes she can do almost anything I ask of her. She is also a very strong willed little girl. But I always remind myself not to forget that she's still a kid. And there are tasks that can still remain inappropriate for her age no matter how invincible she thinks she is. I am still the parent after all.  That I very well know I should never forget.

And this note here -- a note that I wrote one low day four years ago, when I was feeling so guilty and neglectful of my motherhood duties. To this day, this note is still stuck on my kid's study wall. "LISTEN, OBEY, RESPECT"

There are of course other values that I have been trying to teach her to imbibe but these three words are one of the first words she learned to utter and I'm glad they were.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Maia Recommends: Fully Booked's Once Upon A Time

Our normally quite and lazy weekend was temporarily interrupted today. As I've been confined at home due to a terrible flu attack recently, I thought my family deserve sometime out. I grabbed at the chance to do just that when my mommy friends called for a play-cum-mommy chat date at the newly opened Vanilla Cupcake Bakery branch at one of the popular down here at the south.

We started the day to celebrate Palm Sunday. And then the kid being the book worm that she is immediately requested we head straight to a bookstore after hearing mass. She seemed to have a mental checklist of what books she will grab on her next trip that she immediately makes a beeline to the stall where the books she likes are when we get to a bookstore she likes.

Today was particularly made extra special because my blogger friend, Aimee, informed us of her latest project. Bookstore trip made even more exciting by a storytelling session! We were even luckier because we came on a Sunday when storytellers from Adarna are invited.

From the information that Aimee shared to us the sessions are scheduled every Saturdays and Sundays  at 2pm and 4pm. Today's session consisted of 2 Adarna book stories that ran for about 30 minutes. The storyteller was so animated and fluid that she got the kids engaged and very responsive to questions she would throw unexpectedly. I loved how interactive that session was! I am looking forward to bringing Maia to more of these storytelling sessions.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Maximizing Summer Vacation With Family Without Breaking The Bank

How have you been spending your hot summer days of late?

My health has suffered the wrath of this uber hot weather. Extremely hot, humid weather outside and winter like temp in the office is a recipe for disaster, healthwise. Yesterday I finally went to see a doctor. Now, I have to take plenty of medicines to hasten my recovery.

Anyways, as much as I wanted to make this summer a fruitful, learning filled experience for the little miss, coming home exhausted from trying days at work just makes me look forward to lazy, home-confined weekends divided into bonding times with the husband and the little miss and an hour or two of me-time. Me-time mostly spent window shopping.

I've been looking to update my office wardrobe and that of the little miss’s as well as she seemed to have undergone a growth spurt lately and I found just the perfect online shop to search for fashionable women’s (and little girls’ too) clothes at Zalora. This online shop is just the perfect place to burn my free time on since it caters not only to women but to the entire family as well (I couldn't resist looking at the men's section as well and making mental lists of several things that I can score for the husband). While I build up my shopping funds, I content myself with ogling and listing pretty things that I come across online.
my baby girl, all grown up
 Apart from online window shopping, I'm equally ecstatic to get my cooking mojo back so I also spend some of my weekend time at the kitchen experimenting on some recipes. I tried baking blueberry muffins today and made some cookie dough in advance for the little miss's afternoon snacks this week. She's about to start her summer classes (got her free passes to an 8-session ballet class) as well and she's bringing some homemade cookies to share with her classmates.
can you spot her from this crowd of pink?

We've had chances to raid the village facilities too lately - the pool and the playground - particularly and this is one activity that I've sort of missed doing too. When the kid was still a toddler, we used to spend plenty of time strolling and playing at the playground. Now, we're making the excuse to visit the playground so we can limit her TV and computer time.

We still have a couple of activities lined up this summer. But I will have to reserve them for the later part of this month and maybe early May. I hope to recover completely this week so I can finally spend more time outdoors with my loves (if only to kill time at the playground and the pool). I'm also thinking of coming up with a summer income generating project (inspired by what my friend Maqui and her adorable little Aki's summer project) for the little miss since there's an ongoing basketball tournament in our village. I'm thinking of letting her sell ice pops and homemade cookies to the tournament participants.

Plenty of ideas, eh? I hope before summer ends, I get to actually do half of them.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sight Reader

I thought she has now master early reader but a few days ago I seem to have been proven wrong. Has she been just pulling the art of sight reading on us and her teachers?

What do you think?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Goodbye, Kindergarten! Hello, Grade School!

Twenty years from now, she probably won't have the faintest idea of how her moving up day went but to me and her dad it was a milestone that will be forever etched in our memory.

Moving Up Day fell on a Tuesday. Both me and my husband have work. But we knew when it was going to happen, just a few weeks after the school year started so we have no excuse to miss it. Well, I still ALMOST missed it. It fell on pre-close week and my boss was coming over for just a week. With all the things I needed to iron out, missing a day seemed really bad. But my boss (who is a family man himself, thank you J for understanding!) told me a story about a parent who missed her kid's kindergarten graduation because of an important meeting and yet 20 years after, the kid never forgot about that day (because probably of the missing parent) while she could not even remember what the meeting was about. "You wouldn't want that to happen to you, do you?".

Time to pay it forward.
These secondhand uniforms are going to a new home come school opening.
Ate Inday made sure they were well taken cared of and would still be deserving of a 3rd chance.
Mommy, sabi ni teacher wear bright, shiny shoes!
Of course not. And yes, I always know where my priorities lie. So I stuck to my decision. 

And yes, we didn't go home with any award but the kid was just so proud to be called a graduate and share that moment with her parents. THAT is more than enough.

Did I cry? Almost did. After all, we are not just saying goodbye to kindergarten. We were saying goodbye to being overprotective, controlling parents. We are saying goodbye to our "baby" (and yes she reminded me to not call her baby again today). But cuteness was just overflowing that today and the tears of joy decided to take the back seat.

I never figured I bore a performer but today proved to me I did! She was having so much on stage I could almost hear her voice even if I was a couple of meters away. She was jumping, singing, dancing, reciting with pure, unadulterated joy. And that to me is what performing always ought to be.

Her class adviser for SY 2013-14. The very patient, Ms. Jas.
We will miss her stories about you!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Infographic: The Science of Raising Happy Kids from Happify

I first saw this post in Lifehacker but since I can't keep track of all the sites I bookmark anymore, I thought best to bookmark this infographic from Happify here on my blog. And hoping that maybe 20 years from now, my little girl will still be able to access this blog and get to read this as well (when she preps to start her own family yes I am THAT forward thinking).

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Summer is Here! (Pre-elementary edition)

The kid is a week away from officially bidding preschool goodbye. I know it's just a moving up ceremony but this is the first time I am going to see my kid actually go up a stage as a culmination of something she signed up for the long haul.

In two months, we officially begin the elementary phase. I still am a little overwhelmed by the thought that I already have a kid in grade school. But yes, we are also very excited to start that new chapter of our family life.

Before that excitement starts though, there is two months that I will need to fill with activities. Activities that would require longer that 15 minutes to complete since the kid has a longer attention span now. Thank God (as always) for Pinterest, I can easily plan ahead. I haven't really gotten down to serious planning but this morning, while she was showing me her latest doodles, an idea popped in my fuzzy head. I didn't realize she still is having a hard time spelling the word "party" so I thought of coming up with 7 new words every week (of her summer break) to add to her vocabulary and help improve her spelling skills as well. I plan to give her a short quiz every Saturday morning as a review as well. I do think that will ward off boredom and will also help a lot in keeping her interested with learning and "studying". I don't really plan to make this serious so I hope I can find a way to make this project interesting.

I had her pick the 7 words on this first week.

And while we are on the subject of summer, we welcomed the hot season today by spending the entire afternoon in the pool. It was fascinating to watch the kid plunge into the big pool by herself and try her hardest to swim her way from one point to another by merely kicking her feet while clinging unto a beach ball.

Lastly, yesterday was an extremely fun-filled day as well. WE learned how to make royal icing, how to make sugar cookies and frost it. I might just add this to the kid's summer activities with her neighborhood friends as well. I do hope I get enough energy to put enough activities together in two months.

For now, I'm just really excited and so looking forward to what this summer can bring. Last year was a crazy one that I really didn't get to spend with my family but this year, I do intend to make up for that this year. Mind museum, Fun Farm's Balik Bukid, Beach with fam, Roadtrip with friends! Can't wait!
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