Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hello? Hello?

Hello? Is anyone there?

I have been absent from this blog for a while, I know. It's the last day of July and tomorrow marks the start of the new month. And yet, here I am with a mile-long backlog, and 4 more days to that Birthday Blowout (which was originally scheduled for May). Ah, the woes of a single, full-time working mom... who blogs.

You're probably saying, "Why blog?" I had mentioned this in passing to fellow blogger, Neva, over brunch Saturday (while waiting for an interesting discussion on Deped's new program, K to 12, to start), and she gives the perfect answer to this Q. It's the perfect outlet. I agree, I'd go crazy if I didn't get to write. Especially since there are things difficult to explain to friends and family. A blog seems like the perfect venue to let out innermost feelings, not expecting anyone to understand completely, but yes, at least, it is released.

How I wish I was a stay-at-home mom with a little more time on my hands to write on my blog. But no, God has other plans for me. Alas, I have to work full-time to solely support my kids. Right now, I have no idea how to go about this without going crazy, but I am trusting God. I know He's got my back.

So yea, where was I? Oh yes! Hello! Backlogs. Blowout. Bah.

Let me get around to announcing the winners of the last blowout day - the Smucker's gift pack.

Congratulations to the following First Wives Club readers!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Because of the nature of the prizes (fragile glass jars), it is highly recommended that you pick up your prize from a House of Praise store (Panay Ave., SM North EDSA, Robinson's Galleria, SM Megamall, St. Francis Square, V-Mall or Festival Mall). Should you wish to have it shipped, you will have to shoulder shipping and handling (please pickup? LOL). Kindly wait for my official email notification to know more about how to claim your prize.

I'd like to thank Scrat for being generous with this giveaway. You are a gem, J-Ann! Thank you for being a good friend.

This blowout has been brought to you by Smucker's - makers of JIF, Goober and all things good.


Ok, now that that's out of the way... I have to start working on backlogs. Keep your fingers crossed that I finish everything this week. Hehe.

Friday, July 27, 2012


I haven't blogged in weeks. Well, blogged-blogged, that is. I've been so busy with work and tutoring duties that after all that is done (oftentimes, it's late at night), I'm too tired to get out the laptop to write. That, plus the Blogger app on the iPhone/iPad isn't photo friendly.

So yeah, sorry. I know I have a ton of backlog to finish. Plus that Blogger Giveaway still needs a few installments! Argh!

I have a couple of events this weekend, but I hope to be able to write soon.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ice Age 4!

I had just purchased tickets to catch Ice Age 4 last Friday when I received a call from Eon inviting me to catch the next day's screening of Ice Age 4 at Megamall. I had initially declined the invitation, when after thinking about it for a minute, thought "what the heck", it's a cartoon and my kids are sure to want to watch it again.

I was wise to accept the invitation because A slept through half the movie. Poor baby, tired from a full day in school (She got left behind by her school bus because she had to take two make up quizzes. Yes, blame it on our vacay, sigh), she couldn't keep her eyes open. RL, on the other hand, took in the movie like a sponge.

Separation scene that scared RL.
I must point out that toddlers might find the movie a bit scary. RL clung to me at some parts (especially the part where the ground shook and split open, and Manny gets separated from Ellie and Peaches). He also hated the parts where the Sirens were on screen. 

So we all (three of us, as yaya went home to Bulacan to be with her kids for the weekend) trooped to Megamall to catch the sponsored showing of Ice Age 4 (in 3D, too!). I had an event that afternoon, so it was a nice payback of sorts for the kids who later had to endure a 4-hour talk about fire and emergency safety, hehe.

Thank you, McDonald's! A got to watch the movie in full, and RL got the chance to see it all again.


I don't know what it is about Hong Kong but each time I'm there, I come home craving for McNuggets. All the more for this recent trip. They had a Hello Kitty promo in Hong Kong, and had new McNugget Sauces. When we were there, they were serving Honey Mustard Sauce. Nom!

Had McNuggets with French Fries and Honey Mustard Sauce at Ocean Park.
So yes, this past week, I've been having McNuggets and Fries almost everyday. Hihihi. Oops, I know. You don't have to say it, I hear you loud and clear ("It's no wonder I'm fat"). But see, I have a good excuse. McDonald's has Ice Age 4 toys for their Happy Meal and I just had to complete the set for my little boy. AND... I found out that McDonald's still served Sweet N' Sour Sauce! And all this time I was settling for Barbeque! If you haven't tried their Sweet N' Sour Sauce, try it! It's a little bit of Hong Kong with your McNuggets, hehe.

Sid and my McNuggets & Regular Fries with Sweet N' Sour Sauce. 
Cute little fellas. 
This was the meal that completed our collection. Wish they had a Louis toy.
Catch all Ice Age 4 toys at McDonald's while they're still there! Don't let 'em drift away!

One toy with every Happy Meal.


It's another BOOK Sale! Argh!

This time, it's from Books for Less. I know I haven't written about their recent promo, but sometime in May, Books for Less sold Gift Certificates for P500 - the value of which doubles to P1000 if you use the GCs in July. My kids aren't even done using the two GCs we had purchased, and now they announce this...

Another Warehouse Sale involving books! 
I swear, I can put up a small library with all the books we have collected. I brought home another book rack the other night just so I can keep recent and favorite reads organized for the kids.

Here's how we survived last year's warehouse sale.

Don't me ask me for instructions on how to get there by public transportation, because I still get lost each time I attempt to drive around the inner parts of Pasig. Here's a map to guide you. Good luck!

If you know how to get to Sam Milby's house, this is very near his village. LOL!
Happy book hunting!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

God of Carnage!

The last time I caught Lea Salonga on stage was back in 2009, when my good friend and 6th grade classmate JM gave me complimentary tickets to see her Your Songs concert. If you've been following me on twitter, then you should know that Lea is my theater inspiration. Back when I was younger, I did musicals and theater. When I got to college, however, the closest I ever got to theater, aside from watching plays and musicals on campus, was working backstage for "Walang Sugat." Yes, sadly, my theater dreams have come to a halt, and all I ever get to do is watch. My fault, really, as I pursued a different career.

On July 20, I get the opportunity to catch Lea Salonga on stage again, thanks to my friend M. I have been warned, however, that this isn't the typical Lea-musical-sing-song type of show, neither is it a concert, but a play. But it doesn't matter, it's Lea Salonga, and it's God of Carnage - winner of a Laurence Olivier and a Tony for Best New Play. I've read reviews of this play being really funny (nope, I didn't get to see the movie). I can't wait to watch it with my KY.

Menchu Launchengco-Yulo vs. Lea Salonga!

God of Carnage (originally Lay Waste to England for Me) is a play by Yasmina Reza. It is about two pairs of parents, one of whose child has hurt the other at a public park, who meet to discuss the matter in a civilized manner. However, as the evening goes on, the parents become increasingly childish, resulting in the evening devolving into chaos. The play was a success in its official French language, but has been equally acclaimed in its other English-translated productions in both London and New York.

God of Carnage received six Tony Award nominations and won Best Play, Best Lead Actress in a Play (Marcia Gay Harden) and Best Direction of a Play (Matthew Warchus).

The Manila production stars Tony Award and Olivier Award winning actress Lea Salonga. Joining Lea is Singaporean-Chinese actor Adrian Pang, first lady of Philippine musical theater Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and The Kitchen Musical's Art Acuña.

Lea Salonga and Adrian Pang were last seen together in Singapore Repertory Theatre’s production of They’re Playing Our Song in 2000.

Roman Polanski directed the film adaptation, Carnage. Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly play Veronica and Michael, while Christoph Waltz and Kate Winslet play Alan and Annette.

Art Acuña vs. Adrian Pang!

Atlantis Productions' GOD OF CARNAGE runs from July 13-22, 2012, 8pm at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City.


Orchestra Center P1600
Orchestra Side P1400
Loge Center P1200
Loge Side P1000
Balcony P750

Lea Salonga
Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo
Adrian Pang
Art Acuna

Directed by:
Bobby Garcia


Monday, July 2, 2012

We're Going On a Trip!

Not in our fave rocket ship, but you get the picture. LOL!

Yes, the kids and I are taking our annual trip to the homeland this week. Many of you have requested that I write about traveling with kids (especially toddlers) since I almost always do it as the lone adult. Well, this isn't going to be THAT blog. Haha!

If you've been wondering why we always go to Hong Kong in July, well that's because Hong Kong has its Annual Summer Shopping Festival on the months of July and August. This year, it started about two weeks early. Yes, it is SALE season in Hong Kong as we speak.

Last year, the kids and I didn't do much as HK was scorching hot AND totally humid. We spent half a day at Hong Kong Disneyland and the rest of the time (we stayed for almost a week), we wasted in the malls (to cool off mostly). Last year's SALE wasn't as great as the years before, so we did most of our shopping at IKEA and Disneyland (imagine that).

Remember this photo from last year? Evidence of shopping at HK Disney. LOL!

On a summer (June to August is summer in Hong Kong) trip once, when RL was about 7 months old, it was soooo hot in Hong Kong, I swear we all got a tan - darker than the tan we'd get on trips to the beach. My kids would get so hot and sticky and RL would get rashes from the heat.

This year, I promise things will go differently. Other than the fact that KY will be with us (Thank You, Lord! I have an assistant! KY, I didn't say yaya a!), I'm gonna come prepared!

A few weeks ago, I had received this from the nice folks of Johnson's Baby, c/o my friends from Nuffnang.

My secret weapon to combat hot, sticky and humid weather! Thank you, Johnson's Baby!

I was busy organizing things for my online garage sale when this awesome pack of products came, that I didn't notice the nanny putting it away. Alas, while looking for "ingredients" for a Baby Blooms order, I found the bag in the attic. Haay, yaya.

So yes, because our nanny left us for good Friday night (I had to let her go because she's giving birth), I had asked her to bring out the things we normally take on trips - black cosmetic bag, stroller organizer, water bottles, medicine and first aid kit, etc.

Weather Forecast
as checked Friday night
On previous trips, I had always thought I was pretty prepared. But see, in Hong Kong, the weather can change drastically. One day it's fine, then the next day, they'll declare a typhoon signal in the morning, a severe cyclone signal in the afternoon, etc. And then it gets all scorching hot again. Yes, it gets crazy like that. Especially in July. And it's wrong to assume that because this country is merely an hour and 45 minutes or so away, the weather could pretty much be the same as ours. True, it's the rainy season there, but it can get really, really hot. As in, extremely hot.

Weather Forecast
as checked today.
Bye, sunny day!
(Yea, right)
I checked the weather for this week. We head to the homeland on Thursday. Looks like rain. But see, just last Thursday, they had a signal 8 - that's cyclone material. Last time, A and I got caught in a cyclone 8 was back in August of 2007 and we were stuck at Central Station for a good 4 hours. Got ourselves on local TV, too. Prior to that day, it was very hot and humid. I swear, the weather can be crazy there.

In 2009, we were at Hong Kong Disneyland on a fine, July day. It was drizzling in the morning. After lunch, it reached the high 30s and I almost collapsed from heat exhaustion. I was still breastfeeding RL then, and I suppose I didn't think I'd get THAT dehydrated. Good thing we had our nanny with us.

In 2010, my kids and I got a bad tan at the park. Last year, I didn't think it would get as hot, as I had relied on the weekly weather forecast. Although the forecast was correct, the weather changed midday and we were sweating in fever-like weather.

So yes, this year, we are coming prepared.

Hot July visits to Hong Kong Disneyland.
From top left, clockwise: Exasperated look on RL's face, while watching a parade (July 2011).
This picture of A speaks for itself, LOL (July 2009).
18-month old RL with two stroller fans (July 2010).
A can't open her eyes for the picture, with the sun too bright (July 2010).
With PEx friends Zalvaje and Gasoline, see the tan line on my arm???!! (July 2010)
Sweaty RL with his stickers. (July 2011)

I am making sure I bring these with us to Hong Kong. Folks, allow me to present my artillery (LOL!):

These Johnson's Baby products have been designed to combat the consequences of staying under the sun!

RL is allergic to heat. LOL! Seriously, he gets really irritated when it's hot and sticky, and complains about "pawis". So Johnson's Baby Cooling Powder is an answered prayer. It keeps RL cool and keeps his back dry. What I like about this product? It cools the skin in less than a minute. Told you it was answered prayer. Hehe.

My kids are prone to heat rash and prickly heat, especially RL who has skin asthma. So this powder is a must! Especially around his neck area and the singit (hehe). I sometimes mix this with the Cooling Powder to give both RL and A double protection. Johnson's Baby Skin Protection Powder has Zinc Oxide that's a proven anti-bacterial agent. It also has magnesium stearate which repels wetness. Together, this main ingredients in this wonder powder helps fight rashes and prevents it from coming back.

I recently discovered this and we are currently using this for RL. It smells so good. Seriously, he doesn't smell like he's played outside all day when we use this for bath time. I'm tempted to have A use this for school days. She tends t be "amoy-araw" and "amoy-ewan", especially after a long day in school. I want my kids smelling fresh, even after a long, tiring, hot day at the park.

Like the Cooling Powder, this baby bath aids in keeping baby fresh and cool all day. Wanna know a secret? I use this bath to cool and soak my kids' feet! Both of them tend to get really sweaty (and stinky!) feet. So this relaxes them and ensures that their feet come out smelling good after a long soak. LOL! Really, it works! I also like using this for their baths because they always come out cool and fresh.

It isn't enough to protect a child from feeling sticky and hot, or from the perils of prickly heat and being "amoy-araw". Most parents forget to protect their child from the number one cause of skin disease - skin exposure to the sun. Check most baby bags, and you will hardly find a tube of sunblock. This is my favorite Johnson's Baby product ever, and I am happy this has been made available here. If you haven't tried it, go and get your kids one. It is light and non-greasy and has a very mild scent, unlike most sunblocks that are labeled "for kids". This being a Johnson's Baby product, you are sure that it has been tested safe to use for your little ones everyday. We haven't left home without one since we first tried it!

Out of all the variants available for Johnson's Baby Cologne, five scents are our favorites - Regular (I'm happy this is still available after all these years!), Summer Swing, Tumble, Bounce, and A's favorite, Slide. I grew up on Johnson's Baby Cologne, and it is the one thing that reminds me of summer days. Nothing like smelling like a baby, despite being under the sun all day. Johnson's Baby Cologne is a must for Play Days!

Thanks to Johnson's Baby, my Hong Kong survival kit's packed with the right stuff.

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