Cleaning my White Ultraboost X

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Rubber shoes never appealed to me for the only reason that it looks really - bulky.  I remember being forced to wear one when I travelled as a kid, but as I grew up - I chose different styled shoes.  I settled with sneakers - it's the most comfortable for me at that time.  I wore it on occasion, it was never the first option of footwear for me.  In HS well, since there was PE - I was forced to own sneakers, but then they were just for PE, nothing more and nothing less.

Then, I finally found a footwear that I can walk in all day - Fitflops, but there was a catch, it was a glorified flipflop.  When I travelled to tropical countries, I never had a problem with it.  Then a few years ago, during a trip to London - well, it was rainy and very cold - I felt that my Fitflops were not enough to get me through the trip.  Luckily that time, there was a closed shoe version of the Fitflop.  I thought, it was really meant to be - because it was a loafer type, one that is not bulky.

Fast forward to a few years, this Fitflop loafer needed to be replaced.  I couldn't find the same one in the country, and settled for another style of loafer, and it was in white.  I honestly wasn't very happy - but then when I saw a picture of myself in those white loafers - I realized that it looked really good. It was there and then that I fell in love with the white against my jeans and my outfit and most anything.  It was only in 2015 that I realized what my mom and twin brother have been telling me on white shoes - it's really nice and goes with most anything.

Since then I tried looking for another pair of white shoes.  Any type of shoe to be honest, as long as it's comfortable for walking.  But I couldn't find any that I liked.  I remember my SIL Liza telling me that Adidas Ultraboosts were the most comfortable thing ever.  Well, you know me and rubber shoes, I won't pick nor even give it the time of day EVER.  My Panget has been telling me to get New Balance, but as I said - all rubber shoes for me looked really bulky.  

There was one shoe though, that I saw last 2016 - I saw a co-mom wear it and asked where she got that white pair - it was the Adidas Superstar Slip-Ons.  It was a quest of having to get one.  I thought to myself, now this is the ONLY pair I would buy and wear.  True enough, I bought it and wore it like a uniform.  I have in white, black, coral and grey.  These superstar slip ons have been my staple footwear during all my travels.

But last year, I noticed that I would get tired easily from walking and that I lower back would feel sore.  I assumed maybe it was because the rubber soles getting worn out from all the usage.  I vowed that if I saw a new pair, I would get a new one as back up.  I saw a few pairs, but it didn't appeal to me as much.  So I just put if off.

During my recent trip, I felt really tired after walking for a few hours.  Maybe because of my current condition, but I felt that my Superstar Slip Ons were failing me.  I knew I had to change it or else I wouldn't survive the trip.  My Panget really loves rubber shoes, so every trip would entail having to go inside Adidas and New Balance stores.  On this particular trip - we entered an Adidas store.  I went on the Adidas Originals to look for a replacement superstart slip ons.  But the colors available didn't appeal to me as much.  Since I was so very desperate, I tried on the new rubber shoes called Deerupt - but I felt the sole was too stiff.  I felt so sad honestly and went to the kids.  It was there that I saw the Ultraboost X in white, beige and black.  I was desperate so I asked to try on the white.  I asked for my size and the sales staff was nice enough to bring three (3) pairs of different sizes.  Maybe she thought it would save her the trouble of going back and forth to get the right size - good thinking diba?

So I tried it on and started walking in the store.  OH MY GOD.  It was the most comfortable thing EVER.  I was so amazed that my lower back pain was gone - INSTANTLY.  I think my body felt such a relief that I forgot how tired I was from all the walking I did that day.  Then I tried on the other pair - and my goodness, I was impressed - beyond impressed.  I was SOLD, Ultraboosts are really the most comfortable thing EVER.  Now I had to determine the right size.  I am really choosy on the size, I make sure that the shoe can fit an additional insole just to make it softer, but with the ultraboosts, I didn't need another layer of insole - it was perfect!  I then got half a size bigger - my Panget would always tell me to wiggle my toes first and they did.  You know what - I didn't want to take them off anymore.  I wanted to wear them right there and then.  But the sales staff did not allow, we had to pay for it first and then wear it - so we did.  I swear, it was like all the aches and pains in my lower back and legs were gone in a snap.  It was so wonderful walking in ultraboost.  I am now a believer.

After the trip, this is what my Ultraboost X looked like:

It has become very dirty and stained.  Don't ask me how, but you know how white shoes are - plus I have my kids stepping on my shoes every so often.  My friend Selene would always comment how kawawa my white shoes looked - but that's how it is really with white shoes, right?  So when I got home - I thought, what should I do to clean it?  There was the throw it in the washer method, or the send it to a professional for cleaning, or bring it to my mom's trusty reliable labandera or the clean it myself with my Panget's cleaning arsenal.

I was really tempted to just give it to the labandera.  I spoke to a few friends and they suggested to have it professionally cleaned.  But I was too stubborn to listen.  So what I decided on was to clean it myself - and then if it's really still not clean enough, to send it to a professional.

Since we have the Reshoeven8r and the Jason Markk, I thought - why not the hell try it myself.  I watched Youtube videos on how to use these two products and had it on repeat for a half day.  I made sure I knew what I was doing.  And so I did.  The right shoe, I used Reshoevn8r while the left, I used the Jason Markk.  I brushed and brushed like there was no tomorrow.  But at the end, I felt that the shoes weren't still clean enough.  I still saw some dark stains.  

Then it dawned on me - why not use Grandma's Secret Spot Remover on it?!?! So, I tried and brushed away.  Putting very little product on the dark spots and brushing away.  I was very happy that the dark stains were clearing up.  After brushing and brushing and finally feeling satisfied - I showered the shoe in water.  I did not soak it, I used the telephone shower and showered the shoe.  Then I just placed it on the floor diagonally that night in the shower.  The next morning, it was still wet, I then decided to put it under the sun to dry for a few hours.

And you know what happened?  THIS happened:


It was like new!  I swear, it was so white that I was amazed that I was able to clean it up properly.  If you notice, it's not 100% back to normal white, but it's good enough.  I mean for all of my efforts in brushing and applying product on it - this was the end result.  I was ecstatic!  I didn't need to bring it to a professional - I can now clean it by myself, in my own home!  Yahoooo!!

So what are the products that I used?  Well, it's a cocktail of products really.  And here they are:

I have to say though - my favorite still has to be Grandma's Secret Spot Remover.  I feel that it was that product that helped clean the shoe even more.  The spot remover is concentrate and very little product is needed to make it sudsy.  The brush though, has to be the star of the show - it was able to successfully take out the stains and dirt easily.

So there.  I was so happy I was able to clean it through that I joked that I can now open a shoe cleaning shop.  Well, the only product that I will take on are white rubber shoes.  Hahaha!!

Eduplay School Manila's new home!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Eduplay School Manila has moved to a new home.
And it's nearby the old location - just a few meters away.

I was so impressed to see the open parking lot in the front.  I was honestly wondering months ago how they will transform this new place.

And boy was I impressed.  The layout is PERFECT!  And as usual, I give my thumbs up in cleanliness, very good use of space and the size.  It's really a joy to see the new place.  I must say, this new place they found is really meant to be for them.

Congratulations to everyone in EduPlay!

I loved that they tore down the wall and opened it up for parking!
I'm really loving the vibe of Eduplay's new home!

The iconic blue wall!
I will miss seeing this everyday...

Below are just a few of the classrooms they have.  Loving the space, the colors of the walls and the set-up.  Feeling nostalgic on the cubbies.

I love how the house was transformed into something very functional.  The classrooms are the perfect size and they layout of the house is super meant to be.  The great minds of Eduplay School Manila truly made this new space conducive for learning and play.  I'm so excited for all the incoming students!  There is no space that was left to waste - every nook and cranny has it's purpose.

I honestly wondered where they would place the iconic slide and play area.  And I was beyond surprised on how it fit the garden perfectly.

The new home is smaller but it's very functional and more homey in my opinion.

CONGRATULATIONS #EduPlaySchoolManila on your new home!  I'm excited to see you guys again in a few years!  Hahahaha...

Eduplay School Manila has been our home for the past three years.  I have come to love the place, the atmosphere and most especially the teachers.  They welcome you with a smile, they are confident and they love your kids as their own.  I consider Eduplay as my family outside of my immediate family.  I would always ALWAYS recommend Eduplay to friends and family.  They have taught and guided my two kids wonderfully.  I have met and become good friends with some of my co-parents there.  I'm so glad to be part of the Eduplay family.  So, come and join - I swear, you'll love it there!

Eduplay School Manila
#200 M.Paterno Street,
San Juan, Metro Manila
Tel. 02-5846356

Globalart Philippines

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Can you believe that my 7 year old Kailee made that?  No prior lesson before taking our current one with #GlobalartPhilippines.  I can't even begin to describe the pride I have in my heart.  I'm in awe, I still can't believe it.  I am currently just staring at it, looking silly because of the huge smile I have one.  I am beyond impressed.  And to think, this is only her third class.  AMAZING, right?

Even before I had Kailee, I have heard of Globalart from friends.  I knew it had one branch, the one in Ortigas, Greenhills - and I knew of some friends who would go all the way to Greenhills just to have their kids join their classes.  Of course, at that time - I wasn't interested as I didn't have kids yet.  But for the past year, Kailee has been showing interest in drawing.  She would use up all of my bond paper at home drawing all sorts of things.  I would buy her crayons and paint and she would just do what she felt like doing.  If you can see our bedroom, one wall is filled with her drawings and artworks (hers and Connor's).  I have asked if she wanted to take classes, but she has said no.  I was very happy though, that before the end of the school year - she told me that she wanted to take classes.  It just so happened that this opportunity came up, talk about perfect timing - right?

I brought Kailee and Connor to Globalart Philippines in Greenhills for their assessment.  At the same time, I met Yenny Saw the master franchiser of Globalart Philippines.  I was glad that she was there, as she was able to tell me the different levels that Globalart offers.  I used to think that they were merely teaching the technique of coloring.  I was wrong, there were other levels like sketching and drawing, comic book drawing, painting (water color and acrylic) and even clay molding!  It's really nice that there are other levels - for other *art* related interests.

Kailee was put in the advance class and she chose painting over drawing/sketching.  I have to say, I was quite surprised with her decision - because she had been doodling most of the time.  Connor was as expecting in the basic beginners class, so he can master the coloring technique.  He was disappointed because he wanted to do painting, I had to explain to him that he needed to have this basic skills first and by the time he's 7, I'm sure he'd be the same level as Kailee is now.

The Greenhills branch is really lovely, it's clean, well lit, the AC is working fine, you'll know when you're there that the place is well maintained.  The staff is cheery (which I really really like), they are helpful and would always greet you with a smile.  I met some students too and they seem to love it there too.  So I knew, right there and then - that Globalart is the right place to enroll my kids for art lessons.  And I'm glad I did - as I have this pride in my heart with their achievements - 3 classes in.  Impressive right?

So, call and inquire on the programs Globalart Philippines has to offer your child.  I'm sure you'll find one that will pique the interest of your child.  They have different locations too around the Metro, you will surely find that is near you.  They also have branches outside of Manila.  

I will go out of my way and say to try and visit the Globalart Cebu branches if you live in Cebu - because my good friend Carissa is the franchisee there and her daughter Bea has won awards in the Globalart competitions outside of the country.

Another branch I will plug is my cousin in law's branch - Globalart Del Monte.  I hear they have one of the BEST teachers in the Metro.  If you live in the area, you may inquire by calling 02-6660033!

Ortigas Branch
Tel. (02) 515-7005; 726-0435

Pizza Hut Horrors: Late pizza + hair STUCK inside the pizza + bad customer service

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Yes, I placed an order and was told that the pizza would arrive in 45 minutes.  To be honest, I assumed that Pizza Hut delivers at 30minutes or less.  Have I not ordered from them a long time for the mechanics to change?  Anyhoo, what am I to do right?  So I agreed - the order will be arriving at 5:16pm, the CSR said.

Usually, Pizza Hut delivers earlier than expected - but at 5:15pm, there was no sign of any delivery person from Pizza Hut.  This made me call the hotline - 911-1111 to report.  So I gave my phone number and informed them that the pizza has not arrived.  According to the one I spoke to, it was still 5:15pm, but she will be making a report (I found it odd that she would tell me the time, as of course - I knew what I was doing).  So then she apologizes for the *inconvenience*, I asked her - that's it?  Just a sorry and to wait?  She then put the call on hold and the came back to me again, but before she spoke - I asked her for the time, it was 5:17pm already.  She then said that since the pizza hasn't arrived yet that the order will be FREE.  She then tells me that the branch, which made the pizza and delivery will give me a call.

I waited.  Waited until 5:30pm - and no call was received.  I called the hotline again to remind them that the pizza has not arrived yet, only to be told *The pizza is already FREE madam*.  I already knew the pizza was free, the point of the call was to inform them that the branch has NOT called me yet (I don't know why too they need to call me to, but I think it was SOP on their part).  The CSR told me to wait.  So I waited, then the pizza arrived.  The helper who received the order came inside and told us *Ma'am, may bayad raw po XX amount*.  Now, that was odd - since I was told twice that the pizza was free.  So I went out to speak with the delivery person.  Lo and behold, when I went out - he was gone!  Okay, so nevermind that, right?  I still did not receive ANY call from the manager.

So at dinner, I was munching on the cheese stuffed crust pizza.  I suddenly noticed a hair, a light brown color strand of hair.  I initially thought it was mine, so I tried to take it out - and it didn't want to take off!  I tried again and then I realized THE HAIR WAS STUCK INSIDE THE PIZZA!  Okay, so I inspected the pizza again and noticed another strand of hair on the other side of the pizza.  Apparently, the strand of hair was really stuck IN BETWEEN THE PIZZA - it was cooked together with the pizza.  Horrors right?

So I called the Pizza Hut hotline - it was 7:42pm.  I gave them my number and they were able to retrieve the order - I informed them that there was hair stuck in between the pizza.  Of course, the apologized for the inconvenience (can it still be called inconvenience?!) and told me that the manager of the branch that catered to my order will give me a call.  I informed them that they won't be able to reach me at the number that registered on their system, I gave them my mobile landline.  They told me to wait.  So I waited.  And waited.  But there was no call.

At 8:31pm, I called the hotline again to inform them that I have not received any call.  I spoke to a CSR named PRINCESS.  I told her that I have not received any call from the branch.  She apologized and told me that my concern was already relayed to the branch.  I then asked her what time I called to complain - she apologized and told me there was no way of knowing when I called - but to be assured that right after my call, they informed the branch immediately.  Since it was nearing an hour and no call was received by me - I asked her for the time I made the call to complain, I told her that she can ask for it.  She repeatedly apologized and told me there was no way of knowing.  I then was getting persistent and impatient because I knew for a fact that they have records of all the calls - all she needed to do was ask properly and READ through it.  I then suggested to her, why not put my call on hold and then find out and then get back to me.  At 8:41pm, she came back to me with a time - I made the complaint at 7:41pm.  Meron naman palang capabilities to find out the time right?  And then she proceeded to tell me at the branch manager has been calling me, I was confused because I never received any call, no missed calls recorded on my phone. *Tatawagan kayo ng branch manager para malaman kung saan po kayo matatawagan*  Did you understand what she said?  I made a sarcastic laugh and told her, tatawagan niya ako para malaman kung saan ako matatawagan?  She then said that they only knew of my registered number.

When I heard that - all hell broke loose.  Why the eff were they calling me at the registered number when I SPECIFICALLY gave them my mobile landline (because no one will answer at the registered number?!)  This Princess CSR defended the logic to say that the registered number was the only number available for them.  I then told her, I gave another number - I even repeated it and made sure the person I was speaking to knew took note of the number.  As I was rambling and getting riled up, Princess then blurted out my mobile landline.   Yun naman pala eh, they have a record of it.  What the hell diba?  Why not use that number to call me?  Then my Panget tells me that my mobile phone is ringing.  Hay nako diba?  I can't believe the quality of customer service representatives!  I really can't!  So I took the call on my mobile phone, it was the male manager from the branch that handled my order.  Take note there was no apology whatsoever - he just said *Ako na po mismo ang gumawa ng pizza, saan ko po ipapadeliver?*  I then asked why they didn't call me at my mobile landline, he said that the hotline did not give him that number, it was only a few minutes ago that he received the number and called right away.  I was already pissed at this point and just gave him my address and ended the call.

Back again to the CSR Princess at the 911-1111 hotline.  She then tells me with a very proud tone *Ma'am natawagan na daw po kayo ng manger, kabababa lang ng call*  OBVIOUSLY!  Goodness, diba?  She them apologizes and tells me that the manager was able to call the branch when I complained at 7:41pm.  So I asked to speak to that manager because I wanted to know why my *correct* number wasn't given to the branch.  She then asked me which manager.  OMG - why is she asking me this?!?!  Of course I told her, the one who called the branch to inform them of my complaint!  She then says *Ma'am hindi naman po kasi manager*  ANO BA ANG PINAGSASABI NIYAAAAAAAAA.  She then says it was just a CSR and not the manager.  Goodness talaga....  So anyway, I asked to speak to a manager to report the incident, and she passed me on to Lovi Deleros.  And you know what I learned?

THEY DONT RECORD CALLS.  I always assumed that they do because it's their proof when a customer complains.  I always make sure to have the pizzas I ordered cut into squares, and there are times that they don't do as instructed - so I call the hotline to report.  Does that mean, that my call was futile becayse they have no way of double checking if I really gave the correct instructions?  We all know that not all CSRs put every request on their computers - human error, diba?

You would think why will I go through all this for a complain.  Well, I'm very particular with customer service.  I believe that CS can make or break businesses.  And here in the country, well - customer service sucks, it doesn't exist.  And I want to change that.  I know it will take a long while for the industry to change - but hey, it can start from me.  I go through the pain of speaking to them and reporting (I send detailed emails such as this post to them) so they can pinpoint what went wrong and do damage control.  I believe that with this, the industry will change - even slowly.  We can't just turn a blind eye and ignore mistakes.  Everything can be improved and I want to see improvements.  My children and their children's children deserve improvements in the customer service industry.

Spring Deer Restaurant: Re-Opening?!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Last year, I was so shocked (literally) when I saw the Jollibee signage around the building that Spring Deer in Timog used to occupy.  It has been a long time since I last passed by that place and so I was so shocked and saddened that Spring Deer has closed down.

I asked so many friends who lived in the area for it's new location but, they were all clueless.  I told myself and family members that it was an end of an era.  My Panget's family frequented .  The food is good and the price, reasonable.  Ambiance is not something you'd come back for - but well, for me as long as the food is good, then ambiance can come in second.

I have already lost hope.

And then I see this:

Is this the real deal?
Are they really opening?
Is this really happening?

If so, I am very excited because the space is new and sooooo nearby!


Can anyone confirm??

This is along Ligaya Street, near Examiner and Quezon Avenue.  This is the street where the Moldex office is located along it.  Nearby famous places are Shangri-La Restaurant, Office Warehouse and World Vision office.

Fries is LIFE with Pompoms


Would you believe when I was younger, disliked fries?  But when I liked them, it was a never ending love affair.  When I was pregnant with both kids, I used to have one pack so often just to satisfy my craving.  I would ask our cook at home to make me some homemade fries.

This love affair was passed on to my kids as well.  I know it's not the healthiest, but french fries are really yummy.  Hahaha!!  I know, unhealthy!

When I saw Pompoms on my IG feed, I knew I had to try it.  But since it's located in Robinson's Place Manila, well - that was the biggest hurdle.  I rarely find myself going there.  I honestly have forgotten the last time I was there.  It used to be a place my college friends and I frequented while in college.  But then, I was told that it has become bigger - more areas were added.  So when Rowena and I found ourselves in Robinson's Place for an event, I made sure to let Ro know that I wanted to try Pompoms.  I was honestly wondering where it was.  But like a stroke of luck, we walked passed it and told ourselves that we'd try it before heading home.

And try it we did.

Above is their fries.  It's did not come from a pack.  Instead, it's made fresh from locally sourced potatoes.  It's cut (they have cutter, then boiled, then fried, then frozen and when you order, they fry it a second time.  It's a quite tedious process but I understand why.  The boiling/steaming makes the potatoes soft.  Freezing it after frying it first makes it crispy in the outside and soft in the inside.  They fry it a second time to make sure it's fresh hot and crispy upon service.

We ordered Ketchup powdered fries with mayonnaise on the side.  To be honest, I was skeptical.  I am not one who puts ketchup on their fries, I want mine plain salted.  But I was willing to try it because Rowena was with me.  Hahaha!  And then we ordered the Chicken Skin Poutine (pictured below).

Can you see the generous ketchup powder?  Well, it was really good - it tasted like Pik-Nik, a real fresh Pik-Nik Ketchup Fries!  I was blown away, it was really good.  I couldn't stop myself from eating more and more.  This I have to say it what I liked best.

Above is the Chicken Skin Poutine, it was just okay.  I think I was enjoying the Ketchup fries very much that this tasted just ordinary to me.  But in fairness, the chicken pieces were good!

Truly, FRIES IS LIFE!  I know I'd survive with just eating fries all the time.  I know, it's not healthy.  Hahaha!!

Pompoms is located at the ground level of Robinson's Place Manila.

Robinsons loves PayMaya!

Monday, March 19, 2018

I was introduced to the convenience of Paymaya last year.  It's one of the easiest ways to receive and send money, it has a virtual card and an actual one that you can use here in abroad.  What I like about Paymaya the most, is the ease and convenience of where you can load it up.  Imagine that you can just go to any 7/11 store and load up your Paymaya card in real time.  YES, IN REAL TIME!  And that's 24/7!

Technology has come along way - and now, even paying your bills and doing shopping can be done with the help of technology.  Just recently, I noticed QR codes on counters of Robinsons outlets, may it be their department store and retail stores.  I was quite intrigued and so I read it carefully.  Apparently, one can pay their purchases by using the app of Paymaya and scanning the QR code of the cashier!  That's so convenient right?  No need to bring big amounts of cash that might get lost or stolen.  Let's be honest - pick pockets have become very creative in their ways, so we need to be extra careful.

Here are some Robinsons retailers that we can use the convenience of Paymaya:

Can you imagine buying medicines with just the Paymaya's app? 

 WE are users of RainX - and I'm so happy that we can find them in Handyman plus the fact that I can pay for it using the Paymaya app via QR code!  Wonderful indeed!

So, what are you waiting for?  Get yourself a Paymay app (virtual card) and the actual Paymaya card (do watch out because they have promos!!)


Thursday, March 15, 2018

I honestly have never tried bingsu.  Even during last year's trip to South Korea, I didn't have a chance to have one (maybe because it was so very cold!)  I have wanted to try it, but I never had the time.  I'm glad to have tried Snowbing - located in SM North Edsa's Main Mall.  It's the cozy space right beside Banana Leaf, apparently they're both from the same mother company.

Snowbing offeres not just bingsu, but also pizza!

It looks and tastes so good!  So refreshing, I swear it was a perfect treat for the summer!  The image above is the Cheesy Mango flavor, I honestly did not expect it to go good, together but it did!  Below is a closer look at their shaved ice.

Look how fine it is, I was bowled over!  I was just expecting crushed ice, but this was really amazing, so look closely!

Below is their signature Bulgogi Pizza.

Who would have thought, bulgogi on pizza?  Hahahaha!!

Finally, I can say that I've tried bingsu and I LOVE IT!  I think I'm craving for some now since it's super hot nowadays.  Glad that it's nearby too!

Follow Snowbing on Instagram and Facebook.

Snowbing is located in the Main Mall of SM City North Edsa.  They also are in the Garden level of Trinoma.

Bump into you there!

Cakes by Addie's Pasteleria

Monday, March 12, 2018

Recently, my Kailee celebrated her 7th birthday.  Time flew by so quickly right?  I can't believe she's 7.  While I was composing my IG post - I couldn't help but tear but up.  I was being emotional and I couldn't help it.  I was happy that she's healthy and is becoming a generally good person.  I just can't help but think that in a few years time, she won't be my baby anymore.  I know it's inevitable, but I guess - every parent has this image of their kids (even if they've become grown adults) as their babies.  I am one of those.

I asked her what kind of birthday cake she wanted.  She said she wanted a cake with a LOT of icing.  I have two sisters in law who are bakers, unfortunately - they were both full on that day.  So my next bet was Addie's Pasteleria.  I have ordered a chocolate cake from her before and I LOVED that it had soooo much icing!  I love icing too.  Hahaha..

I didn't hesitate anymore and sent a message to order.  Ordering is a breeze.  This time, I decided to order a mocha cake.  And boy was I glad I picked mocha because cake was light, it was fluffy, very flavorful - bottomline,  it was so gooood.  So good that even my mom who isn't so much of a sweet tooth liked it and asked for more!

Why are there two cakes?  Well, my mommy brain did an advance order.  I thought my Kailee's birthday was a few days away instead of 2 weeks away!  Hahaha..  Addie's Pasteleria was so nice to inform me that instead of paying for two (2) flower cakes - why not just make one a standard mocha cake, and then on the correct pick up date - the flower cake.  I was bowled over when they called to tell me that.

Addie's Pateleria - FB Page
They also have an IG account where you can send messages too and see their latest creations.

Everyday Miracles

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

What is a miracle?  Miracle, as defined by is:

So this morning was a bit unusual.  For almost two years, I have been on *hatid* duties.  There's a driver provided by my in laws, so all I need to do is accompany Kailee and our carpool mates to school every morning.  Not once has a driver not shown up on time.  I think there was one or two occasions last year that the driver would call the guard or text me that they won't be able to make it.  I thought it was very nice of them to text or call to inform me, right?  Well, I appreciated that gesture very much.

So anyway - this morning, I was just supposed to bring Connor to school.  My Panget has asked me weeks ago that I would be on that particular *hatid* duty because he'll be too tired from playing bball the night before.  So okay, the arrangement was - that Yaya B will bring Kailee to school, while I will bring Connor to school.  You see, if I bring both of them to school, I would have to go back the same route three times (twice bringing them to school and once picking up Connor).  It was a good arrangement, right?  So this morning, I was awake by 5am, I couldn't go back to sleep even if I knew I can wake up later than usual.  So, I prayed the rosary - all 5 decades.  I still couldn't sleep.  So I tried the breathing technique that I use most night - that still didn't work.  Then my Fitbit alarm started going off at 5:30 and 5:45.  I noticed though that it was unusually quiet.  I did not hear a sound of a car engine starting up, nor car doors closing.  It was odd.  I looked at the time and it was already past 6:00am.  The usual time, we leave is about 5:58 to 5:59am, so 6am with still no sound at all was strangely odd.  So I got up, went out out bedroom door and said *Hello?*  then I heard Yaya B respond with *Ma'am, wala pa pong driver*.  GREAT.  I looked at the time, called the guard and asked who was supposed to come in this morning - and tried to call his number.  His phone was turned off.  So I went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, washed my face with water, hurriedly dressed up and off I went.  I immediately went down, told Kailee to board the car and off we went to pick up our carpool mates.  I was in a hurry because I had to literally rush back home to be able to bring Connor to school.  I was dreading the traffic, it was the one thing I was worried about.

We left at about 6:10am.  I knew that at this time, for SURE there will be a LOT of cars.  Lots of cars + sleepy drivers + not so bright drivers + everyone rushing to be where they need to be.  I was expecting mayhem, traffic, and a LOT of waiting time.

But you know what?  By some miracle, the drive to school was smooth.  I was in awe, I kept looking at my Fitbit to confirm the time.  It was a strange thing to be honest because I knew at that particular hour - the volume of cars would be a LOT.  But it was manageable, I mean really manageable.  Cars were flowing peacefully, I was given way most of the time without much effort.  It was so strange really.  Strangely, wonderful and surprising.

Would you believe that by the time we got to ICA at 6:45, traffic was very light?  It was as if it was just 6:35!  Even the Yaya I was with was surprised!  We gathered, it was a miracle.  Kailee clocked in at school at 6:51am.  I can't explain it fully how it happened - but you know what time I arrived home?  I got home at 7:11am.  Would you believe that it took me just 20 minutes to get home?  While driving back - I was silently praying and saying *Thank you to God* for this morning miracle.  I am still amazed until now.  Thus, writing this.

Miracles do happen everyday.  I used to not believe it, until today.  There's really no explanation for the miracle I experienced this morning.  There's no logic in it to be honest.  I don't think there's a suspension of classes in ICA or Xavier or schools nearby.  At that particular time, cars should be on a traffic deadlock because most cars would be rushing to beat the 7:30am bell in school.

It was as if there was a divine intervention on the road while I was driving.

Thank you Lord, for this wonderful miracle.  I am not stressed out, nor really tired and especially not hilo hilo which is what I usually feel when I go on these back to back *hatid* sessions.

P.S.  I also saw a Sara Lee pound cake in S&R during the weekend and I have decided to offer it to St. Expeditus.  It was been YEARS (literally years) since I last saw a Sara Lee pound cake.  I think it's a sign.  So I am offering it up to him as thanks for this miracle.  I also passed by the Pink Sisters Convent to say my thank you to the Lord.

Thank you for this miracle.

The Big Bad Wolf PH Book Fair

Monday, February 19, 2018

I've honestly never been to a massive book fair.  It was my first time to see that many books in one place.  It was overwhelming and at the same time, very exciting.  I like reading books, I used to buy a LOT when I was still single.  But when I got married, well - the books I bought only gathered dust on my side table.  I can't seem to find the time to finish a book.

I feel that books are an investment, so whenever we go to a bookstore and the kids like to buy a book, we most of the time let them.  We feel that it's better to buy books than toys.  What do you think?

I remember someone telling me that books, the hard copies (publishing industry) is dying because of the rise of e-books.  I felt sad honestly, it's still different when you have *kilig* when I see my children open a book and read.  I look at them lovingly when the do it.  Kailee now is especially into reading, she just started to learn to read and it makes me so proud seeing her open books and take time to read instead of asking to borrow the iPad.

Last Thursday, a friend of mine visited the PREVIEW of the Big Bad Wolf PH book fair.  I have been seeing it on my IG feed for about a month now and I was really curious.  I mean, to be honest - I didn't know what was so special about it.  It said though that books were at 60-80% off.  I guess that's a good enough deal right?  I miss those days when books costs less, but to be honest compared to elsewhere, the cost of books were relatively cheap when I was younger.  I guess the inflation caused the prices to go up, it was normal.

I was pestering my friend on her finds.  She was nice enough to send me pictures and the prices.  I told her that if there were good deals, to let me know.  And she did send me the good deals.  Well, relatively the whole book fair had good deals.  She said that children's books were and endless pit.  There a LOT of tables for them daw.  I didn't understand what she meant, but with what she was telling me, I assumed it was a LOT.  She came in with her daughter at 11am and left around 5pm.  In my mind, wow - she took her time.  She was telling me to come visit that day as there were only a few people.  To be honest, I didn't want to brave the traffic.  In my condition, I would be worrying where I will be peeing when it's traffic.

So the next day, I managed to convince my brothers and sisters in law to go.  We took one car and arrived at about 10pm.  The traffic around the area was terrible.  The traffic going inside the WTC was massive, cars were lined up and it seemed like everyone was thinking the same thing.  Once we entered, we discovered that the security and the parking ticket were the ones taking a while thus causing the traffic.

There was no line going inside the WTC, once we entered the hall - I was overwhelmed.  I usually have a game plan whenever I enter a massive hall, but seeing all the books - well, it was just too many books!  Hahaha..  It was a good thing my brother in law got us baskets each.  I was pulling the basket while looking at the books.  The first table I saw, I immediately grabbed the book that was of interest to me.  My Panget gave me an evil eye saying to slow down as we were just starting.

I was walking and walking and getting books.  Walking and looking.  It was actually dizzying as it was really a LOT of books!  I wanted to get one of each that I saw!  I was so overwhelmed.  My Panget was already complaining that the basket he was pulling was getting heavy.  I think it was a l for us to stop.  I was also getting sleepy and dizzy from all the books that I saw.  Considering the time I think it was passed midnight, well - I was tired already.

We headed out to pay past 12 midnight and waited in queue for about 30 minutes.  The cashier hall was cold and was very organized in my opinion.  I liked that there were marshals that were guiding us.  After a few minutes of being in queue, I noticed that the lines were piling up.  It was a good thing that no one had high tempers nor did I notice any commotion - it was very peaceful and quiet.  There were about 30+ counters ready to serve, but it still had lines - perfectly understandable.

So this was our #BigBadWolfPH haul

Prices of the books start at P100 and go up to P980.  Sets costs P1,150 to P3,900.

Here are my tips:

1.  Go during odd hours if you want the place to yourself.  We went at 10pm and it was a manageable crowd.  No lines to enter the halls but only lines to pay at the cashier (which is undestandable).  I feel like the golden hour is at 4am.  I know, it's too early but since you want the place to yourself, then - go!

2.  Bring a friend or a helper BUT do not bring kids IF you want to have time to check out the selection one by one.  I do understand that you want to bring your child so they can pick the books, but think about this - they have a short attention span and will probably fill your basket or cart full a few minutes into your shopping.  What you can do to counter this is to bring a yaya or helper to look after them so you can do your own shopping.  There were crying kids and kids that were lost.  So cute and funny though because I heard an announcement *Name of Mom, your child (name of child) is waiting for you at the counter), still organized - right?

3.  Bring a trolley or a bag with wheels as carts and baskets run out.  I saw though on the sides that there were carts and baskets with books that were left.  I really disliked it that people would get books and baskets then just randomly leave them anywhere when they felt not like it.  Filipinos really are not mindful of other people.  Those carts and baskets can be of use by those who really want to buy books.  They could have just handed them to a staff for the staff to unload, right?

4.  Make sure you are well fed and rested before you go.  I thought I was well fed since I came from a dinner, but I was wrong.  The walking made me burn calories, I was so happy that I reached 10,000 steps on my fitbit.  I was so thirsty too while walking.  Unfortunately, food and drinks are not allowed - perfectly understandable since you are dealing with books and to avoid those unfortunate incidences.  I also didn't see any food stall outside the halls.  So better be well fed and rested as you will do a LOT of walking.

5.  Wear comfortable attire.  That means a good pair of shoes and comfortable clothes.

6.  Cash and Credit Cards are accepted, so there's not problem with the method of payment.  They have people to assist you if you buy a LOT of books.  Porters!  Soshal....

7.  Be patient and offer a smile to strangers browsing with you.  It's open 24 hours a day!  Yes, no closing time and opening times!!  The place is fully air-conditioned too!  

You still have until 11:59PM of February 25 to go!

Have funnnnnn!!

Starbucks: Layers of Unexpected Flavors

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Here are whats in store for us from Starbucks Philippines!!


A mesmerizing hue of blue Butterfly Pea flower tea layered with refreshing lemonade and topped with deliciously smooth Starbucks Cold Brew coffee. Starbucks®, Butterfly Pea Lemonade Cold Brew features butterfly pea flower tea – a trending ingredient in Southeast Asia, which is distinct for its natural blue shade and color-changing properties. It reacts with the lemonade to create captivating swirls.


A customer favorite returns this season! Starbucks® Tahitian Vanilla macchiato infuses velvety steamed milk with aromatic, caramelly Tahitian vanilla syrup, topped with Starbucks Signature Espresso and finished with vanilla bean specks and vanilla drizzle in a classic double crosshatch pattern. 


And these will be available starting February 20, 2018.

Below are the Easter edition of the Starbucks cards.  They will be available on March 15, 2018.