We met Elsa & Anna of Arendelle and YOU can too!!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Thank you #ToyKingdomPH for giving us Filipinos the opportunity to meet Queen Elsa and Princess Anna of Arendelle!

It was truly a dream come true for Kailee!  She was starstruck, she couldn't speak, she was in awe when she met them.

Thank you to the most amazing toy store - #ToyKingdomPH

Look at the smile on Kailee's face.

That is pure joy and delight.

You still have time!

Catch them both tomorrow at the Main Mall Atrium of SM Mall of Asia!

Read the mechanics HERE.

NO PURCHASE required!  Just show up and line up!!

#PickYourPinesol & #SavorYourMeTime

#PickYourPinesol - I pick LEMON!

Yes, I associate citrusy scents with cleanliness.  I can't explain it but I find that when I smell something citrusy - it's automatically clean smelling.  Little did I know that in the Philippines, most people too associate cleanliness to the citrus smell.

I have been a Pine-Sol user for years.  I switched to this brand because my friend Kath would tell me how effective it was.  One observation was that she had three (3) dogs in her home, and they stayed inside the house at night.  So if you can imagine, the scent of three dogs - but once you enter Kath's house.  There wasn't an ounce of any doggy smell, I was amazed.  In my house, I have 4 dogs - three of them stay outside and my garage reeks of dog smell.  I've tried Lysol, laundy detergent but ntohing happened - there was still the doggy smell.  One day, I told myself - why not try Pine-Sol, I mean there was nothing to lose!  On our next supermarket trip, my Panget and tried Pine-Sol.

Using Pine-Sol is life changing for us.  My garage doesn't smell anything like a dog.  I was so happy!  My helpers in the house were amazed, they were actually relieved because they think that I have it my head that they don't clean the garage enough (because it was smelly!  Haha!!)  My house smells citrusy (I only buy Lemon) and clean.  Our supermarket bill is a bit less because Pine-Sol is cheaper that the competing brand.  I felt that Pine-Sol is able to clean areas better - bedroom, bathroom, kitchen - name all the areas of the house - Pine-Sol can clean it.  It smells better too!  I remember my Panget always complaining because of the scent of the competing brand.  Now, he's quite satisfied that it smells citrusy.  Hahaha!!

There are two ways to use Pine-Sol.  One is concentrated and the other one is diluted.  You can opt to use pure on to those areas with stubborn dirt or is smelly.  You can dilute them and they'll still be *powerful*.  I have this atomizer spray in every bathroom with diluted Pine-Sol, to it's ready to use anytime.  No need to dilute as you use.  Hahaha!  Short cut, diba?

And so when I was invited by a friend to the Pine-Sol event - I was ECSTATIC!  I am a user, I really love the product and so I was so very excited to see what was in store for us.  The invite for the event was very nice - I loved the bag, but more was I loved that the Pine-Sol variants were complete!  At long last - I will be able to try the other scents!

Of course, I had to open the Lemon.  I am a creature of habit, this - I made sure to use it first.  Hihi.  I am actually saving the other scents for the other rooms.  Am I weird?  But I thought why not assign certain scents to each part of the house?  Hahaha!  You know, change things up a bit! Hihi..

A few weeks ago, fellow mom bloggers and I were treated to a #SavorYourMeTime by Pine-Sol.  It was very nice actually because our duties as mothers - never stop.  We are on call 24/7.  And one Friday morning - we had a relaxing *me* time out of the hustle and bustle of being *supermoms*.  We spent an hour or so of quiet time.  We learned about taking care of ourselves and we were made to feel *valued*.  More often than not, our efforts are forgotten.  I know we do not ask for anything in return, but sometimes - being appreciated is something we yearn for.  I personally feel this way.  I do what I do for my family, but sometimes - I can't help but feel that I'm doing so much yet no one appreciates me.  I feel that I am working non-stop.  How I wish sometimes, someone else can take the reign and let me rest - even for just a few minutes.

When our Yoga teacher Jojo asked us what our *me time* was.  I honestly, couldn't think of any.  What I do know though is that when I am driving myself to pick up Kailee from school - when I'm in the car alone  (despite the traffic)- I feel relaxed, re-energized.  I feel good!  I guess the quietness and being alone makes all the difference.  I never thought that the driving alone would make me feel good about myself.  Hahaha!!  It was something I honestly did not expect to say.  Hahaha!  But then fellow moms agreed with me that being alone in the car is sometimes their alone time too.  Hindi ako nag-iisa!

Here is everyone with the our Yoga teacher Jojo.

Pine-Sol made us moms feel important.  They treated us to an hour of quiet time.  A wonderful *healthy* meal to go with the talk that was given by nutritionists and dermatologist.  It was really  all about taking care of ourselves as mothers and as women.  I have to say, it has been a while that I felt *pampered* like this - and it's really nice to feel valued.  We all deserve to be pampered.

I so loved that we got a goody bag filled with really, really nice things!  What I secretly loved was the additional Pine-Sol products to take home!  Woohooo!

Thank you Pine-Sol for pampering us and make us feel validated that what we are doing is worthwhile.  Thank you Mish and Patty!

I am so excited for everyone to use their Pine-Sol!  I'm sure your *cleaning* will be something to look forward to!  Hihih...

Titas, Titos, Aunties, & Uncles

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Everyone has them.  In our country, we have an extended family.  So mere friends of our parents, we call them  or refer to them as aunt and uncles.  There doesn't need to a blood relation for us to call them aunt, auntie, uncle, tita or tito.

When I was young, I was taught to regard elders with Uncle and Auntie, Tito or Tita, Ahia, Kuya, Ate, Achi.  It was instilled in us that no matter the age - as long as they belong in the same generation - well, we need to call them such.

My mom has cousins that are just a few years older than us.  Heck, she has cousins that were only months older than us!  Yet, we call them - Uncle - because they belong to the same generation of my mom.  We were taught to regard them as such and since I was taught that, I practice that.  I grew up with family members saying Achi this Ate this Ahia that Kuya that.  Uncle this Tito this, Auntie that Tita that - I was very familiar and very much comfortable throwing those *titles* out.

It was only just a few years ago, that I became comfortable being called *Aunt* or *Tita* myself.  I've always regarded myself as young, but then when I had kids - I kind of expected to be called such by the children of my friends.  When married I into my Panget's family - well, he had older nieces (kids of his cousins) and they called me *Aunt*.  Also, when I had met new friends with older kids, well - it seems odd at first, but it still had some getting used to to be called *Auntie Didi or Tita Didi* but I accepted it with open arms.  I knew they were just being respectful.

I am 35.  I am not ashamed of my age.  I am proud of it actually.  I don't understand it when people find it offensive when they're asked of their age.  I don't hesitate to reveal my age - I mean, what for?  For me, it's inevitable, so why hide it.  But I do respect those who don't want to divulge their age.  I guess I've come to realize that people are different.  Hahaha!!

When I was younger, I found it odd that the elders don't say their age when asked of it during their birthdays.  Birthday candles were concealed with a long single candle.  I remembered when I was younger, it was pure joy to blow so many candles!  Hahaha..  I thought, maybe they found it disrespectful?  I don't know, honestly.  Well, I was told that it wasn't disrespectful.  I guess was a ploy to *seem* younger to others.  Kung, trip nila - why not?!

But my question is - Why does one to seem want to be younger than usual?  I have no idea.  I used to think about it, but then I realized - why even bother thinking about it.  It's their problem and not mine, hahaha!  I've seen sudden anger outburst when the wrong age was guessed.  Hahaha!!  I am serious, once I saw this lady who was soo angry at a staff for calling her Lola, when she calmed a bit the staff apologized - she said that she wasn't a lola because she didn't have kids.  I even remember my mother in law - she was in denial that she was becoming an *ama* soon.  It was quite weird actually, but I guess to each, their own.

I have nothing against looking young.  I think Asians are generally lucky because they look younger compared to caucasians.  We are lucky in that department.  I know of people who has done a LOT of work on their faces and bodies - all because they didn't want to age.  Well, I personally believe that if one can afford it - why the hell not?!  But then when I see their faces all fixed up - they look more old than they originally were.  I honestly have no idea on these *looks*, but I know of people who are notoriously observant of these.  They're the ones who tell me.

Ageing is one thing that I am highly accepting of.  It's inevitable.  I mean, there is NOTHING we can do to reverse ageing, unless of course by some miracle, time travel is invented or cloning is perfected.  Well, it has been attempted - but I don't think anyone has been successful, on humans that is!

So, why did I write this post.  Well - my friend Tina was horrified that I called her friend (who is a little older than her) Auntie.  I know she was just teasing me.  Hahaha!!  But I felt that I had to explain why I called her friend, such - because she is my mom's BFF's sister in law.  So for me, they belonged to that same generation.  I would be very uncomfortable calling her by her first name - I am sure that I would get dagger looks from my mom's BFF, hahaha!  But that's how I am.

I didn't think that anyone would feel insulted when I called them auntie, uncle, tita or tito.  I was so used to saying it that it has become second nature for me.  I guess - my circle of friends is now broadening, thus I might need to be careful in uttering *auntie, uncle, tita and tito* to people.  I just realized recently that people do find it offensive at times.  Kanya kanya, talaga.

This discussion led me to learn that not everyone is comfortable being called *auntie, uncle, tito and tita*  I'm sure there are are people to are comfortable calling people by their first name.  I know that in other Western countries - aunts and unlces are called such because they're related.  There is no offense in Western countries when you call them by their first names.  But, in my family, even friends of my mom and *older* new aquaintances - I refer to as aunt and uncles.  Even on the phone, during sales calls - I call people Aunt, Uncle, Tito and Tita.  That's what I was used to growing up, and I don't think I will ever change that trait.  I think for me, as long as I feel it's respectful (for me) - it's enough.  I don't mean to disrespect but I guess if that person feels insulted - then it becomes their problem and not mine.

So in case you feel bad that I called you Tita or Tito or Uncle or Auntie - blame it on my upbringing.  Hahaha!  I swear to you, I meant no offense and instead I regarded you with great respect.  Hahaha!

So, (Auntie) Tina - thank you!  Just kidding!  You know I love you!  Hahaha... :)

Oh, and there's apparently this trend #TitasOfManila - it's quite charming now because it's being referred to something positive.  Yes, we have aged - even a bit.  I now belong to the generation when I am starting to get called Tita or Auntie.  Hahaha!!

Panindigan na ang #TitasOfManila !!

Carnivore Lechon from Leonardo's

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I will get straight to the point.

This is the Carnivore Lechon from Leonardo's Lechon:

Yes, those are sausages - 3 kinds to be exact, hungarian, kielbasa and chorizo then bacon, garlic potatoes and herbs.

Once the manong hacked the lechon open, the aroma of the sausages, herbs and lechon filled the room.  It was glorious - glorious because I closed my eyes and let the scent fill me and my imagination.  It was wonderful.  Imagine, the aroma of sausages add to that the aroma of herbs and the garlic potatoes and mix it with the delicious scent of roasted lechon skin.  
The combination was deadly.

Here's another look at the lechon cross-section.  

I swear to you, you will NOT look at lechon the same way again, after seeing and tasting this.  I don't think I will want to eat the normal kind of lechon or a different kind of lechon.  THIS LECHON IS IT.  I confess that I am not fond of lechon and the only thing I eat of lechon is the skin - but this Carnivore Lechon - it made me want to try to eat the meat.  And it was juicy, it was flavorful, it was soft.  One reason why I don't eat lechon meat is that I often times find the mean tasting *malangsa*.  I can't explain it - but this particular lechon had no trace of being *malangsa*.  The meat was flavorful, soft, juicy - all the meat stuffings (3 kinds of sausages and bacon) was perefectly packed and seasoned.  I believe it was what flavored the lechon in the inside.  The garlic potatoes were very good too!  I super loved seeing big pieces of garlic!  Hahaha..  Garlic is my weakness!

These were the lechon skin that Rowena and I ate like potato chips.  Hahaha!!

Look at my plate of Carnivore Lechon.

Leonardo's Lechon has been around since 1947.  It's an institution in San Juan!  I remember seeing it everyday along Blumentritt Street in San Juan when I was younger.  That was my route going to school and I often wondered what it tasted like.  I remember during one of the first Ultimate Taste Tests of Anton Diaz, Leonardo's Lechon was part of it.  They have a rich history and I admire that they support the community livelihood in Pangasinan.  Leonard mentioned that all their pigs come from Pangasisnan they support the communities there and give back.  It's nice that they practice social responsibility.  I admire companies that values social responsibility.  And I think that is why they're still a front runner in the industry.

They also don't freeze their pigs or kill the pigs ahead for orders.  They kill it fresh, and example was when clients need their Lechon at 4PM, Leonardo's kill the pigs at 10am.  They don't practice freezing pigs ahead of time because it affects the taste.  I agree - it would taste really different.  They have a small piggery in San Juan where they keep pigs on back-up.  When you order lechon, it automatically comes with free dinuguan.  This Leonard says, is because they want clients to get the whole lechon (innards included) so you can say that you really got everything in the pig.  They offer free delivery in certain areas.

Here is their Pricelist:

The world is truly very small, why?  Well, the one who invited us - Leonard, Nard to me; is a friend.  Well, I met him years ago in High School - we belonged to the same batch, he was from Xavier and I was from ICA.  And you know what else?  Well, Nard and my brother in law Gilbert are Triathlon teammates!  My brother in law has been telling us to order from Nard.  Well, now I know what to order for our next family dinner - and that's the Carnivore Lechon.

Thank you Leonardo's Lechon for coming up with this kind of lechon.  You set the bar high for me, and I declare it - the BEST lechon in my book.

We even had take home lechon.  I shared it with my brother (who is also friends with Nard) and my mom, they finished it instantly.  Hahaha!!  It was that good.

Like Leonardo's Lechon on Facebook
Follow them on Instagram - leonardoslechon

Thank you Gerry for thinking of me.  It was indeed good food, good times!

Thank you Nard, Erica and Mary Ann!!

Frozen FEVER!! Meet & Greet Elsa and Ann in MOA this weekend!

Yes, you read that right - MEET and GREET Elsa and Anna of Arendelle!

And its happening this weekend, Saturday AND Sunday (August 29 & 30) at the Main Mall Atrium of SM Mall of Asia!!

Wonderful news right??

This is truly a once in a lifetime event from the well loved royals of Arendelle.  Let' give them a very warm welcome to the Philippines!  Yes, this is their first time to visit the Philippines!  I think I am more excited than Kailee!  Hahaha..

The event is totally FREE.

Please read through the mechanics.

This event is brought to you by Toy Kingdom!!

Disney Frozen Forever Meet & Greet
Here's your chance to meet Princess Anna and Elsa of Arendelle on their visit to Manila and South East Asia!

Date and Venue:
August 29 to 31, 2015 – Main Mall Atrium, SM Mall of Asia

*Queuing starts at 11:00 AM. Event ends at 7:00 PM.


1.    Event is open to the general public. No minimum spend required.
2.    First come, first serve policy applies. Subject to availability.
3.    Each group shall be issued 1 stub before the Meet & Greet session.
4.    Please use own camera. Strictly one (1) photograph per family/group.
5.    Food, drinks, strollers and sharp & pointed objects are not allowed in the event area.  Participants can deposit their strollers to the Meet & Greet crew and claim as they exit the event area.
6.    Children must be accompanied, supervised at all times and not be left unattended.
7.    Please always take care of your personal belongings and valuables.

Follow Toy Kingdom online. Visit our online store at www.toykingdom.ph
Find us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Youtube: ToyKingdomPH 

EATs London: Ben's Cookies

Monday, August 24, 2015

I almost forgot about Ben's Cookies!

My friend Tin told me to try them when I happen to see one.  I thought, ano kaya yon?  And while walking along Oxford Street after shopping in Primark, I suddenly saw Ben's Cookies!  I literally ran to the store which was across the street!  My Panget was confused, I think because I suddenly disappeared.  When I re-appeared, he looked surprised!  I'm sure he didn't know what happened.  But seeing that I was munching on a cookie - he knew why.  Katakawan.   Hahaha!!

It was just a small store but the store smelled so delish!  They were baking fresh cookies.  I already forgot what flavor I picked but man was it good.  They hand you the cookie in a paper bag, it's still warm - you need to consume it immediately.  Well, that was what I was told by the staff.  And I did. It was love at first bite.

The cookie was cooked through and it was chewy.  It was warm and it was very good.  I closed my eyes after taking the first bite.  My gosh - it was soooo good!!

I liked it more because they didn't scrimp on the chocolate.  Look at the image above.  I was surprised to see a large piece!  Hahaha.. :)

I regret not buying more (I bought 2!).  But to tell you the truth, I made sure not to finish this cookie.  I remember putting it in the ref and leaving it there.  The next day, I went to the ref and it was GONE!  The culprits are - my in laws (my mother in law, father in law, brother in law and sister in law - and of course my Panget)  Hahaha!!

So if you happen to be in London - scout for the nearest Ben's Cookies!

I swear, it's totally worth the calories!!!

Ben's Cookies

My KidZania Manila Experience... Part 1

Saturday, August 22, 2015


*I need to make a part two because my post will be soooo lengthy!  You know how I am when I *kwento* Hahaha!!*

KidZania is here!  To tell you the truth, I had no idea what KidZania is all about.  I had to google it when I head about it through friends last year.  I thought the concept was really nice and I was sure to try it once it opened.

KidZania Manila recently opened its doors and everyone was excited.  I was included.  Hahaha!  The thing was - I had no idea when I would visit, but I was sure that I would.  My friend Kath, sent me a message inviting me to go with her since she bought her kids tickets.  I went online and bought for Kailee and Connor on the same dates.  Since we went on a *holiday* the rate was the same with that of the *weekend* rate which was a but more expensive with less time.  We chose the 1st slot - 9:00AM to 2:00PM.  I assumed that we wound be done by 1:00PM tops.

A few days ago, my Panget decided that he wanted to tag along.  Unfortunately, TicketNet was not selling them anymore - they've said it was *sold-out*  Knowing me, I had to make sure.  I called KidZania and asked.  I was told that they are selling walk-in tickets, but that would be on the said date - and to go early - by 8:00am to be sure since at that time, they officially - open their ticket counters.  I didn't want to take the change so I told Panget the situation, knowing him - he wouldn't want to wait PLUS if the tickets ran out, well - he will be fuming mad.

Kath and I agreed to leave our houses at 8:00AM.  I thought that would be more than enough time - I even thought we would be early.  When I drove by the *lobby* of KidZania - I was so WRONG!  I was over confident, apparently - patrons thought of the same thing.  Hahaha!! I got to BGC at 8:30AM, but thing was - I had to go around a long way because of the parking entrance.  It was really a hassle because it was a long way going around - I spent about 5 minutes more driving to reach the parking entrance.  Plus the parking attendant was moving really slow because she was manually writing the plates numbers of the car and the time of arrival.

Once we parked, we rode the elevator up to the ground floor and walked to the KidZania lobby.  OH MY GOSH - what welcome me were endless lines.  Mayhem.  Chaos.  Adults, kids, yayas, were everywhere only a few knew what was going on.  The lobby or check-in counters were all filled up with and the people just keep coming in.  It was LITERALLY, the real Cebu Pacific experience.  Imagine the lines you see at the NAIA Terminal 3 - THAT is exactly what you will get - it was getting hot, people were irritated, lines were moving so very slowly and there are VIPs that cut in line.  Argh.  Total chaos.

It took us maybe 30minutes to get ourselves tagged.  This part of KidZania I think needs improvement.  They should specify which lines are which with signs and staff going around.  But then again, it was so very crowded so I guess the staff won't be able to go around.  Nonetheless, there should be signs and clear cut procedures to be done.  Kath and I were confused - we had no idea where the line was or what to do.  Another issue for me was those of us who prepaid the tickets - those who personally went ahead of time to purchase their tickets and for us who relied on the internet to get tickets.  Mind you, we all had our print outs and receipts prepared.  How I wish they just had a special tagging section after checking-in.  The Cebu Pacific staff was also *in character* because she was moving so very slowly - AND she was explaining to a 4year old kid what to do with her BPI check - she was so focused on Kailee.  I doubt Kailee understood what she meant!  I had to tell the Cebu Pacific staff to explain to me since I was right beside Kailee.  I mean, if the parent is there - you can tell the parent.  I can only guess that part of her job was to be *in character*, hahaha!!

Once we got tagged - it was a breeze.  Well, we did go to the PaZZport section, and for the sheer number of customers - there were only two (2) - yes, two counters servicing us all (they had four but they were only opening 2)  I had to tell one of the staff to add more people behind the counter to help in facilitating the PaZZport activity.  I was told *Nalate lang po yung mga in charge* There was no clear line for those who registered online.  It was quite confusing actually, but the the lady that assisted me and Kath, was quite fast and very pleasant.  If you registered online, all you need to do is print it out a copy.  I didn't hand her a copy because I chose the *pick up on site* when I registered.  All you need to give them is the name of the parent and all the kids that you registered will come out of their system.  Each kid will need to have their pictures taken, it takes about 3 minutes tops, if the person behind the counter is fast.  She types in the names, takes the picture of the kid and will ask you if it's okay (you can repeat if you're not happy with the picture) wait for the sticker to get printed out, stick in on the passport, bring out another sticker for the *lamination* effect and voila!  It's kind of tedious and manual - but I assure you, it's worth it to get your kids PaZZports - your kids will earn extra KidZos when they work.  They also get discounts in those booth activity with pay.

I didn't get to take pictures of the bank - BPI.  That's where you should next go to, to encash the 50 KidZos given to each child.  I didn't see what happened because I was busy

Our first order of business - the Fire Station.  We had to line up, though it was nice and very organized - the idea that the kids should wait in line for 40minutes is quite hard to do.  When we got there, we were already on the 3rd batch.  It's quite organized because they had lanyards with number and corresponding batch numbers.  Kath's friend Cham told us to feed the kids while they were in line.  When Kath and I started to feed our kids - the other parents, quickly followed suit.  I mean to wait for 40mins?  That' very very long.  Kailee couldn't get out of the line or else she forfeits her turn.  I argued that we would just be on the place across the Fire Station but they were strict that way (the idea was that if other kids were willing to wait, then my kid should be willing to wait) and I respect them for it.  The staff - I must say exercise patience.  OMG - they were really patient with the kids and adults alike.  Hahaha!  I reached another level of respect for them.  Wow.

But before we could start with out KidZania experience - Kailee had a meltdown - yup.  Right in the middle of her turn in the Fire Station.  Suddenly, she cried and screamed and stomped her feet.   She said she was scared, so I told her that I wasn't forcing her to be a fire(wo)man.  I told her that if she was scared, we should give up her lanyard with number to another person.  But she refused to give up her number - and talked some more.  I explained it to her more than 10 times what the lanyard with number was for - but she refused, I mean refuuuused to take off the lanyard.  I think I was losing my patience already, I was irritated, tired and you know the feeling that you waited so long for their turn then a crying, hysterical child, MY child, becoming hysterical and fearsome?  Oh my goooosh, I will never wish that upon anyone.  I think we argued for about 20minutes.  It was very draining to be honest.  The staff was very nice to tell us that they will accommodate Kailee in the next batch if she decides to join.  Thank goodness for the big heart of the staff!  What I did next to was hold her hand and follow *her batchmates* around KidZania.  When they rode the firetruck - we followed them (we walked behind the truck).  It was quite crazy because seriously - I think there is something wrong with the hotel - for it to be burning down every 30minutes!  Just kidding.  Hahaha!!  So there, we followed them around and Kailee saw what they were doing.  After taking out the fire - Kailee told me that she wanted to do it.   Thank goodness!

When we were walking back, I saw my friend Startupbabies, waiting in line - her daughter belonged to the next batch.  I asked her daughter C if she would hold Kailee's had because Kailee was afraid.  I swear to you, Kailee suddenly felt comfortable and was at instant ease.  Thank you C!!!!

Finally, Kailee inside the Fire Station.  Finally!!
Here she is, with her new friend C!

Kailee wearing her Fire Station gear.  I like that they make all the kids wear disposable caps.  This is for sanitation purposes, so that things can me avoided.  One thing I can think of is *lice* infestation.  This is a great move to help *contain* it.  KudoZ to the staff of KidZania! 

Kailee and C seated while waiting to be briefed!

Kailee and her team are being briefed by Fire Marshall Raymund

Here is Kailee riding the Fire Truck!  Go Kailee go!

This is the hotel is (constantly) on fire! Hahaha!!
Go KidZania Fire Fighters!!

Here is Fire Fighter Kailee doing her best-est to put out the fire!!!

After this first activity, everything went well.  I will make another post for the succeeding activities.  I apologize for the length, but I just had to share what happened.  In the end, I guess all the tears and tantrum aka meltdown was worth it because I saw the smile and pride in Kailee's face every after activity.  She wanted to do it again.  She actually told me this morning that she wanted to become a Fire Fighter again in KidZania.  I am sure to go back - and next time, I'll have finely laid out a grand plan!  Hahaha...

Here's my Step by Step Guide to KidZania first timers:

a)  Buy your tickets ahead of time (online or at KidZania)
b)  Register for the PaZZport online (http://bkidzanian.com/kidzania-loyalty-web/views/roadblock/roadblock.do)  
c)  On your scheduled date.  Assign a person to go very early, fall in line with all your tickets to have all your bracelets prepared at 8:00am
d)  Go to your assigned counter to claim your bracelets and KidZos.  DO NOT cut in line!  Have respect to those around you.
e)  Get your PaZZports (picture taking and the PaZZport itself)
f)  Encash your KidZos in BPI
g)  Work to earn more KidZos (Fire Station, Hospital, Construction, Crime Lab, etc.)
h)  When you've earned enough - go to those *Paid* booth and use your KidZos!

***More to come!***

GIVEAWAY: Stabilo Easy Gel Right handed Pen!!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Since I am a pen addict, I think it is but right that I share my *pen* to a lucky reader.  Yes, you read that right - I am doing a giveaway!  I'm giving away a Stabilo Easy Gel Right handed Pen!! :)

I wrote about being impressed that Stabilo has a pen specially for Lefties - and since I am a Rightie, well - I thought it would be nice to give away a Rightie pen!

Joining is very easy.

Just leave the following details on the comment section:
a)  Full Name (the same name on your valid ID)
b)  Email address (one that you open often or regularly)
*One entry per person!!

There is one condition though, you MUST be able to pick up the pen in Quezon City.  Nope, I'm sorry but I won't be entertaining requests of shipping.  What I will allow is for a representative to pick up on your behalf.  Just make sure to have an authorization letter.

Got it?


I will pick the winner via Random.org

You have until Sunday (August 23, 2015 11:59PM) to join!

EATs Paris: Angelina & the famous Hot Choco

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I used to hate chocolates.  The was a time in the not so distant past that I disliked anything chocolate.  I refused to eat desserts with chocolate drizzles, ice cream and anything with chocolate on it.  I was a choco racist.  I did not understand friends who adored chocolates.  But it all changed when I got pregnant.  I suddenly had this unimaginable craving for chocolates.  Since then, I've a better understanding of why people like love chocolates.

While my Panget and I were planning our Paris trip.  We read blogs (Jin's actually) , travel sites, IG (Marbee!) and reviews.  We always encountered Angelina as a place to visit.  My friend Kath also sent me a list that included Angelina.  So I guess, they all really wanted us to try Angelina.

After our failed Louvre visit (well, it was a Friday and we planned to visit the museum at night (Wednesday and Fridays had night viewing), but at that particular Friday - they closed early for something) so we headed out the *compound*.  As we headed out - I saw the street we were in was Rue de Rivoli.  My Panget said that he wanted to sit and have coffee somewhere.  I took out my list and saw that Angelina belonged to the same street.  With the help of Google Maps - we were then walking to the direction of Angelina.

It was quite a walk to be honest, but the the sights made it less tiring.  It was a few meters away when I spotted a long line.  I pointed to my Panget telling him of my suspicion.  As we walked nearer -well, I was right!  There was a long queue to get in.  They had a small trolley outside but the lady manning it didn't know how to speak English.  I told my Panget to fall in line while I *spy* what can be done.  I don't like to wait very long, so went inside to the counter to ask if I can buy food and drinks for take away.  This lady in the picture smiled and pointed me to the cashier beside her.  So I asked what I can order - she said any of the pastries on display and hot chocolate.  

This is the very nice lady who entertained me.  Can you see the people outside the window?  That was how long the line was already.  There's a small cart somewhere there but no one was noticing it.  Hahaha!!

I then went outside to inform my Panget that we can do take away - and he was okay with it.  So I asked him what he wanted - he said *What else, the hot chocolate*  Oo nga naman, so I ordered 2 hot chocolates to go and a pastry - an eclair to be exact.  I was too curious on the taste of the hot choco that I wasn't able to take a photo of it.  But believe me when I say - it was the BEST hot chocolate that I've ever tasted.  It was the perfect combination of sweet and bitter.  It was really thick and really really hot.  I was trying to save some more so I put it down in the bag while we walked back to our place.  When I got home - I poured the contents out to a mug (so I can heat it), I was expecting to see the chocolate settling down at the bottom of the cup and I was prepared to scoop it all out.  But guess what?!?!?! THERE WAS NONE!  All the chocolate was poured into the mug.  It was amazing.  I was so used to hot chocolates that when you don't finish it immediately - you'll see the settling of the *mixture* at the bottom of the cup.  But for the Angelina hot choco - there was none.  (Yes, I had to repeat the sentence)  I don't know what kind of mixture they did but I was so happy and impressed that I didn't see a mound of chocolate at the bottom of the cup.  WOW.  I apologize for not taking pictures.  Hahaha!!

I think after that day, my Panget and I were instant fans.  It was a pricey cup of hot choco, but then as my Panget would say - When in Rome, do what the Romans do.  So we savoured and enjoyed our Angelina experience.

But wait - we didn't just have one, we had two Angelina experiences.  For the second time, we were walking behind the Luxemburg Garden and then saw another Angelina store.  My Panget was a bit tired so we decided to try our luck and go inside.  It was not full and we were seated immediately.  We ordered the cold version of the Angelina hot choco and this beautiful Mont Blanc.  It had a description that said Chestnut (I immediately remembered Rowena, as she likes chestnuts - I am not much of a fan)

It looks so perfect.  I didn't want to touch it.  But we had to eat it, right?  Hahaha!  And so I dug my spoon into the chestnut and tasted it.  Well, it tasted chestnut-ty, so I guess that was good.  But I felt that the taste fell a bit short or being *really good* so I dug some more, and then there was a white meringue cream inside.  So I dug in and caught a good amount of white meringue cream mixture and the spaghetti like chestnut mixture.  I must tell you - it made all the difference.  The white meringue mixture made all the difference, it was able to propel the taste to a wow, it's good different.  But I guess not everyone will have a liking to this.  I would not order it again if I had the chance as I would like to try the other pastries.  It was something that you'd like to try - out of curiosity and be satisfied with it.  But maybe for those who like chestnuts - this should be very good.

I'm happy to say that Angelina has opened stores in nearby countries - specifically Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore!  During our recent Hong Kong trip, I was so happy to learn that Angelina was in IFC but then when I saw the price, my heart fell - one cup of hot chocolate was HKD88.00 (PHP528.00), yup it was pricey.  But then I thought, how come when I was in Paris - I didn't mind the price tag?  Well, it was Paris.  Hahaha!!  I guess being there was enough reason to soak in all things Parisian.  Hahaha!!

Click the link above to see their official website and browse through their history, menu and stores.

EATs Hong Kong: Jade Garden's Char Siu

Monday, August 17, 2015

Hong Kong will forever be a favorite food destination for me.  It will forever be #1 in my list for quick getaways.  I like it because I am familiar with it.  I can be adventurous and try new restaurants or I can trust the ones that I've been to and liked all these years.  I particularly love Chinese food.  Yes, I'm boring that way.  I find comfort in eating Chinese fare - I was asked by a cousin in law why I want to keep eating Chinese food.  Hong Kong, she says is a melting pot of cuisines all over the world - well, I particularly like Chinese food.  I just love it!  Hahaha..

A dear friend took us to Jade Garden in Causeway Bay.  It was my first time to go the Causeway Bay Plaza 2!  I mean I've passed by it a couple of times, but I never really went in.  The place is quite big and it was bustling when we got there.

I didn't get to take pictures of the food because I was seriously too hungry.  But there was one picture, the lone picture of the meal and it was the cha siu.  I took a photo because it was really tasty, soft and delicious.  My friend Cubie uttered *It's not even Iberico!*  and it was really really really good.

Just look at that beauty.  From the picture alone it looks soft and flavorful.  And I didn't cost an arm and a leg!

Jade Garden has been around for a long long time, heck they even have a branch here in Makati!  I've always trusted the Maxim's group for a wonderful Chinese cuisine experience and this one did not disappoint in terms of flavor.  The food was really good.   The service though, well it's another story because our food came late (thus being really hungry) and the staff wasn't as attentive.  It was a really busy night, but that was not enough an excuse to *forget* about our table.

Dinner was really nice because of the company, we laughed shared stories and caught up with one another.  It was a fun night and we really enjoyed.

I am a forever fan of the Maxim's group, this is - I'm sure is just a hiccup.  So I'll give it another shot next time when I'm in the area.

Thank you Cubie for this wonderful not Iberico Cha Siu and dinner!  Till next time or when you come visit!  Mwah!

Jade Garden

Disney Magiclip Dress + Accessories

Friday, August 14, 2015

There's a fad going on that I wasn't aware of - the Disney Princess Magic Clip Dresses.  During the recent trip, Kailee was screaming and jumping like crazy when she saw the clip dresses.  I thought she was just excited to see them - I didn't know that she has been watching youtube videos of those toys!  When I posted the picture on IG - friends commented telling me that a collection was in order, that I would like to be able to buy all the princesses in the clip dress series.  I took in passing, dismissing their *claims*.  Two days after, I was surprised to find out that my Panget was wanting to *collect* all for Kailee and that he bought all that he saw on display.  So I guess, it was my Panget who bit the bug.  Hahaha!!

Life was not the same.  I would try my luck in local toy stores for those princess that we don't have yet - specifically, Aurora of Sleeping Beauty.  It slipped my mind that there were other *princesses* Mulan, Pocahontas, Merida, and Jasmine!

A few days ago, I tagged along with Glaiza of Moomymusings.com to the RichPrime Trade Show.  I was quite excited because Glaiza mentioned that they were the ones who distributed the Disney Magiclip Dresses.  I think that was my main focus on the way to the venue.  Hahaha!  Kailee was very excited too!

We were toured around the trade show and I was impressed with the selection of toys, arts and crafts, apparel, and so much more.  This company truly has made their goal to make the kids of today very happy.  I must admit, I am so envious of kids today - there are so many many many selections to choose from.  The possibilities are endless!  OMG.  I was so overwhelmed.  I mean, these people mean business - and business for them is to be able to bring smiles to kids of all ages with various interests.  WOW.  Thank you RichPrime from bringing in these toys.  They really make my kids very happy.  Thank you!!

I will for sure be on the look out for these magiclip accessories, to add to Kailee's collection.  In all seriousness - I like these toys, they're plastic and they're practical.  You can interchange the dresses across all princesses!  Hahaha.. You can almost never do that to other toys, right?

Thank you Richprime Global Inc. for bringing in these wonderful toys!!

Stabilo's Left handed Pen for Kids!!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I am a pen addict.  I scour stationary shops and bookstores of pens that I like(and their refills) when I travel.  I had this notion that my kids are all right handed.  So when I noticed Kailee using her left hand - well, I was disappointed because I have leftie friends who say that it's so hard for them, that the universe is so biased for right handed people.

A friend of mine taught me to look for and buy the triangular pencils and crayons.  That way - the kids will be able to handle pens and crayons comfortably.  So I bought some, and I must say - it's very effective.  Then last summer, I was invited to a Stabilo: Free Your True Colors event.  What I discovered there was so freeing and unbelievable (based on my standards)

It was there that I learned that - there really is a science behind lefties and righties.  I was so happy to see and hear from the videos that there are pens made specially for lefties.  It was like, I was there with Kailee for a reason - it was so meant to be!  And I was overjoyed.  Thrilled!  I was overjoyed seeing the pens made fro lefties!  I think I was so overwhelmed because all these years I thought, I must be crazy for thinking that there was a science behind pens and their innovations through the years - but seeing the video, meeting the great minds behind Stabilo Philippines and Singapore - validated my sort of lifelong quest to find that perfect pen!  I was not crazy - there is really a science behind it!  Hahaha..

 It took me a while to make this post because I wanted to show a video of Kailee writing using the leftie pen.  It was only this school year that she entered a pre-school - and now she's learning to write and here is she, using her leftie Stabilo pen.

I belonged to the generation where when lefties were still young, they were forced to become righties because of convenience.  I honestly thought it was a bit harsh to force the issue, but it happens all the time.  Now, that I know that there are leftie pens in the market - I am confident that this can help Kailee and all those who are lefties to feel important because there are tools built just for them, for their convenience to hone and develop their skills.  It's not all about the righties anymore - the lefties too have their place in the world and the market!  I am so happy, really happy.  OVERJOYED!

This is what the leftie and rightie pens for kids look like.  They're age appropriate too.  I am thrilled that they thought of the age of the kids handling them.  For me, being a pen addict - this is a recent discovery - and all thanks to Mish and for inviting me to the Stabilo event.  You guys don't know how this can be a life changer for me (a pen addict) and for all the lefties in the world!!

These leftie and rightie pens are available in the kids section of Rustan's Makati.  The pens are priced at P200+ but I say, it's all worth it as your kids will be able to use them for a long time.  These pens are mechanical and can be refilled.

I got this info sheet from Stabilo's website:

#OishiOWow!: My First Oishi Snacktaular

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Last year, I saw the giant Oishi snack packs.  I secretly envied those who went and got those packs.  This year, I was very lucky to get one.  Thank you forces of the universe and my angel Rowena!  I will be forever grateful to your friendship and generosity.  Thank you!!

So, last Sunday was afternoon filled with celebrations.  We had the engagement of my brother and future sister in law.  Then I had to rush to Trinoma's activity center for the #OishiSnacktacular.  When I got there, the place was packed, I mean literally packed.  It was a brilliant idea on the part of the security that they cordoned off the area so that fans won't be able to mob the crowd.  A thousand fans were shrieking, shouting, holding on to banners to show their support for their Team O idols.  I could feel it in the air their love and loyalty and sheer joy seeing their idols on stage and live!  It was a different feeling - I swear, I was so moved - I couldn't believe the surge of emotions.  Hahaha!!  I haven't felt that feeling in a long long time.  

 I've never been a fan of Daniel Padilla, maybe because I disliked his character in the teleserye Princess and I.  But Kathryn, I'm a fan - even since I saw her in short but meaningful stint in Magkaribal.  Yesterday was my first time to see Daniel Padilla in person.  And I must admit - GWAPO talaga siya plus he sings very well.  I was scrutinizing his face and I said to myself - this guy has good genes working for him, he's really that good looking.  I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would say he's gwapo, but he is.  As for Kathryn Bernardo - I found her pretty when she was still small and she has now blossomed into a very beautiful woman - very representative of a beautiful Filipina.

Another surprise for me was Alex Gonzaga.  She is pretty, slim and my gosh - when she performs - performance level talaga!  She sings very well too!

So back tot he snacktacular event - I did the Snack Catcher!  Woohoo!  Here's the video, but it's a bit blurred and bitin.  But it's enough - at least there's proof that I did it!  Hahaha..  Thank you to Kaye and Alexa for taking it!! :)

I caught 61 pieces!  Wooohoooo!!!

Congratulations to Oishi on their 40th year!  Thank you for making snacks for us through the years.  Here's to more years of snack making, more years of more products for the Filipino!!  #OishiOWow