Friday, December 6, 2013

Through the Years: RL on Disney Junior's Birthday Book

I've been sending RL's photo to Disney Junior Asia for more than a couple of years now. The goal is to get his photo on their December Birthday Book. The first year I tried, 2010, the post office either misplaced my snail mail or the photos didn't get to their SG office on time - never mind that I sent it months before December (August, I think that was). So the following year, I did the next best thing, I sent it via courier. Last year, they made it easier for us stage moms and allowed submission via email. This year, you aren't allowed to send it earlier than two months before your child's birthday, and you had to submit via their website.

A lot of my friends have been asking how to go about this (I am not alone!) so I am posting a quick explanation here.

From the Disney Junior Asia FB page:

"If you would like to see your children on Disney Junior's Birthday Book, simply submit the photographs of your children on Disney Junior's website and also provide us details such as the Child's Name, Birth-date, your email address, name cable operator and subscriber number. 

Submit your child's best picture today and your child could be seen on Disney Junior's Birthday Book! Hurry, you need to send in the photograph 2 months before your child's birthday month!"

Easy, you think? Here are some points to take note of:

You need to be a cable subscriber first. And your subscription must carry the Disney Junior channel. If your child gets to watch the channel at the grandfolks, then yes, go ahead and use their name and cable subscription number for your entry.

Photos must be clear (no blurred photos!), current, featuring just your child and must be at least 1MB in size. So don't try getting yourself in the picture. Disney Junior will not choose that photo with you on it. Hehe.

Don't miss out on the time frame. The submission per birth month is open only on the month two months prior. So say, you want your child's photo to come out on February's Birthday Book, you must submit the photo within the month of December. Miss one day after December and the app on the website won't accept your entry. Also, only the first 100 entries will be accepted.

Good luck!



And finally, this year...

Catch RL on Disney Junior's Birthday Book for December! Happy Birthday, Little Man!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

When Life Gets in the Way.

I guess you probably guessed that the last quarter of the year isn't exactly blogging season for me. A lot of things happen during this time, and I always find myself missing from the blog. Truthfully, as much as I want to get some writing done, something or someone would always get in the way.

It started towards the start of October, what with buying duties for the office, A getting Dengue, work overseas, meeting overseas, more buying for the office, the kids' family days in school, Christmas Sale at the office, R coming home, R leaving, R coming home again... You get the picture.

A getting her blood work done for the Dengue NS1 test, which later came out positive!
Work on Superstar Virgo for the Starfield gig.
Meeting with Hillsong in HongKong right when Yolanda hit the Visayas.

Family Day with the BentoMommas!

Today, I promised I'd get some writing done. But as I looked at that sheet of "Things to Write About", I felt I needed to get an explanation out first. Yes, the last quarter of the year will always be busy for me.

And no, I haven't had any Christmas shopping, what more wrapping and delivery, done. So far, I've only been able to plan. RL's birthday is happening next week, and already, I am stressing over how I'm going to get those Bento meals done for, wait for it, 25 people plus maybe one more (23 kids, 1 teacher, 1 teaching assistant and maybe the lady guard up front by the school gate). Just thinking about it is making me regret even texting RL's teacher that I was planning something for Monday.

Then all those parties. Did I mention I haven't done any of my Christmas shopping? I used to get about 80% done by September. Argh!

So yes, life is getting in the way, but do know I am thinking about you, readers. I owe you tons.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cracking Chestnuts!

It's that time of the year!

Okay, okay... I know you can get chestnuts (the Mandarin Castañas kind) all year round now, but you know what I mean! Mmmm... imagine walking past a stall where freshly cooked castañas are sold. Or remember how they used to actually cook it in front of you in Greenhills? I remember how this was such a treat for us whenever we'd spend Christmas in Hong Kong. Yes, cold weather + the smell of cooking chestnuts = Christmas.

So I was at the grocer's earlier (to get cake for an officemate) and right in front of the bakery was this stall selling castañas. Not exactly freshly cooked as it wasn't steaming hot, but fresh nonetheless. I was tempted to get a fourth of a kilo (more would always result in a sore throat) and was excited to start peeling my way to its delicious and meaty flesh. But they wouldn't crack right. Nope, they weren't hot enough to peel properly.

You know how frustrating it is to want to eat castañas when you can't enjoy the nut in full? Well yea, so I had to wait 'til I got to the office.

Here are two tips on how to get to the full flesh of it all without pulling your hair out:

1) HEAT OVER STOVE - They never tell you that you can reheat these things at home. Well you can. Just get out a pan, heat the nuts over low heat (so they don't burn) with NO OIL. Make sure you stir them around so you don't over-heat a particular side. When you smell them (should not smell burnt), take off heat, and peel 'em babies.

2) HEAT IN MICROWAVE - Just put one layer (don't let them sit on top of each other) in a microwable plate or bowl. Heat on high or medium high for around 20-30 seconds. Let cool for a few seconds before you touch them because they're going to be HOT! Then peel and eat to your heart's delight.

It's beginning to look and smell a lot like Christmas!

So yes, that's how you get the skin not to stick to the flesh. And that's how you get to enjoy those castañas at home.

Who said it should be difficult to crack and peel castañas?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hacking Filipino.

My daughter A has been having a mighty hard time in her Filipino subjects - mostly AP (Filipino History and Social Studies), so when I went to get her card yesterday, it wasn't a surprise to see a low final second quarter grade for this subject. Sigh. I promised myself I wouldn't be teaching any of my kids past the 5th grade (I started studying by myself when I got to 6th grade), so it is with a lot of frustration that I've decided to tutor A once again. At least for these two subjects and maybe, a little bit of Science and Math.

I don't know. I don't like the idea of having her think being "ok lang" is okay. I saw her write this beside her exam grades. I mean, it doesn't sit well with me to have my kids think mediocre is fine. Not to put a lot of pressure on them when it comes to schooling, but what parent settles for anything less than the best? Don't get me wrong, I am not pushing for perfect scores and excellent marks. I just want her to aim for better results. I know she can get Os and As, she was an academic awardee and even got an O in AP in the past. It's just that... she works so hard in school (extra-curricular work plus she takes her class officer role too seriously) that by the time she gets home, she hits the sack right away.

Is there an easy way to understand AP? I mean, take math for example, there are easy hacks to problems and these shortcuts help her understand math principles.

I saw this on my timeline today, and this is exactly how I taught A fractions.

But for Filipino and AP?!

Just yesterday, while talking to her dad about RL's birthday...

A: "When are you coming home?"
R: (Mentions day)
A: "What? Hindi mo aabut birthday ni RL!" 

Everything else to her is prefixed with a "mag-" ie. magkakain, magliligo, etc. Can you just imagine how her Filipino exam looks like?

So tell me, other than teaching Philippine History, Social Studies and Current Events in English, is there any other way I can help A understand Filipino and understand its context? Tagalog comics, maybe? Batibot? Jollibee Town Videos? LOL!

Help! I need a life hack for Filipino!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Richwell's Kids Craze 2013

Wow. I can't believe I missed the first day of Kids Craze this year. I have been soooo busy that all these sale and event schedules just flew out the window. So anyway, if you want to catch Kids Craze this year, their warehouse sale schedule is as follows:

NOVEMBER 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30
DECEMBER 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, and everyday from 12 to 22
9AM - 6PM (Saturdays and Sundays)
1PM - 6PM (Weekdays and Fridays)

#34 Scout Torillo cor. Scout Limbaga, Quezon City

~~~ * ~~~

Just this morning, Cai of Apples and Dumplings and I were discussing the Hi-5 event happening next month, and how we missed first dibs. Yes, I ignored the event calendar. Boo. It's just that I've been up to my neck with work, events, business trips and the like that I cannot even imagine adding more to my plate. So I skipped the calendar and missed out. Oh well.

In other news, CHRISTMAS IS AROUND THE CORNER! 38 days to be exact. WOW. Time just flew.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


...for another trip. Was out for a whole week last week, and the week after that, A was in the hospital with dengue fever.

I would have blogged, only there wasn't free wifi on the ship - yes, ship. Went on a cruise for work (I love my job!). You had to get coffee for wifi (two hours) but there were a hundred and one competitors vying for good signal so I didn't bother. Instead, i savored the seas and the free time.

Anyway, I leave for another 2 days of overseas work today. Meeting a principal at an airport. I know, right?

I'll be back on the blog soon! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Work has been crazy. I flew to Cebu to merch for The Planetshakers. Came home to a crazy schedule. I've been buying for the stores, managing everything in between that I haven't had time to write. Tomorrow - a holiday - we go buying again. T'is the season to be crazy-busy! Not that I am complaining. I love what I do!

Meanwhile, I have neglected the blog. So sorry. I have a thousand and one things to write about. I apologize for the absence and the delay. I shall get back to writing more regularly once the dust has settled. Meanwhile, I hope you are enjoying October so far. I can't believe we're so close to Christmas!

In other news, life has been good. Busy, but good. 

:) See you around!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Coca Cola Glass is Back!

Yup, where else, but at McDonald's! Get yours for only P25 when you buy any McDonald's Meal (except the Happy Meal)! Hurry and collect 'em all!

Pucci, I can't wait to get mine! Woohoo!

Praying for Patience
What movie was it that had the "God" character saying "...if you pray for patience... God gives you the opportunity to be patient?"

I don't see myself being patient at the moment. Instead, I am finding myself in situations where my patience is being tested - pulled, pushed and squished all together. Argh! Do you know how difficult it is to be in my shoes today? To do things the right and godly way - focusing on God and nothing else? Sure, easy to say, but so, so, soooo hard to do. I am losing patience by the gallon.

So help me, God.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Banking Problems!

What is it with banks? Today, I've had to deal with two of them. Although I haven't had big problems in the past, today... well today was different.

I received an OTP (one time pin) message from Banco De Oro, informing me that I needed to input the pin for an online purchase. Only I wasn't purchasing anything online. Nor was I on their Online Banking site. I called the hotline and informed them about the situation, plus I wanted to check that the transaction didn't go through.

The girl on the other end of the line kept insisting that the OTP was just to check if my phone was valid and working. I told her (about 5x) that the message said something about the pin being sent for an online purchase. And yet, she refused to listen. After the 5th try, she goes to check with her supervisor. Supervisor apparently claims it could only be two things:

1) Someone was trying to access my online banking account, or
2) I had received a glitch (as they had some sort of a problem two months ago, according to M - the girl on the line).

To which I replied: "Miss, I received a text that said the pin was being sent to me for an online purchase (reads text). So I want to check if there is a floating transaction or a denied one, just so I can be sure someone was indeed trying to use it."

The girl finally understood but said, "Wala naman kayong na-receive na PIN diba? (You didn't receive a PIN anyway, right?)" I did! I just didn't give her the numbers! What if she was the one trying to purchase something?!

This went on for another 3 to 5 minutes, until she goes, "Ma'am, if you want to report this as Credit Card Fraud, we're going to have to block your card."

"Miss, all I want to know is if indeed someone has attempted to use it! And what for?"

She goes back to her supervisor, and he told her to tell me someone may be accessing my Online Banking account. So all I had to do was just change my password. I logged onto the account and it gave me a One Time Pin via text, only with a different message! Online purchase nga yung first text! Haay, these banks! Anyway, after 15 minutes on the phone, she checks my credit card account and verified there weren't any floating amounts.

Miss, that's all I wanted to know.

~~~ * ~~~

I have a current (checking) account with Bank of America. Opened it over 22 years ago when I lived in Riverside. Last year, they stopped sending me statements. My last debit card expired in 2008. I haven't received any replacement cards. So I asked their Twitter account for help and was told to call their International Toll-Free Hotline. Today, I called to follow up, and was told that their system reflects my account was closed by BofA last year! And Customer Service agent, Angela, can't even tell me how or why?

I was told the account had an overdraft of about $30+ and that that's all she could see. I have about $4000+ in that particular account, not that big for most of you, but that is BIG for me and the kids. That would pay for A's tuition for the next two years. Big money.

I don't remember ever receiving a notice that they were closing the account down. As far as I know, I've maintained their required minimum balance, and they haven't charged me any service fees for it. Also, I haven't written any checks since the 90s! My last withdrawal of funds was in 2004. And last year, I had filled out and mailed an info form to let them know I was still here, and that I would still want to maintain my account with them.

So why did they close the account?!!! I have yet to call their Recovery Department, but would have to do so between 8AM to 8PM EST! And because it is a different number, it isn't toll-free. *Groan* I've googled and read that BofA is doing the same thing to others. What gives?!

Bank of America, give me my money back, PLEASE!

~~~ * ~~~

If you read this, please say a little prayer of petition for my banking problems. It may not be big compared to others, but for a single mom sending two kids to school (in the Philippines, where schooling isn't free), it is a pretty big deal. Lord, HELP!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

S&R Members' Treat: A Look Inside the Crazy Madness...

...that is known to many as the S&R Members' Treat. Yep! Crazy is an understatement. But I don't mind. I am crazy myself. LOL!

So I attempted to take photos for my readers. But in the middle of it all, SM E reprimanded me "No picture-taking inside the store." And even if I tried to convince him otherwise, I'm a good girl, so I stopped right when he said so. Next time, I shall head over to BGC and ask HO for a guided tour. Hahaha!

Anyway, here's an inside look at what caused all that hoarder madness inside the store. You'll know why when you see the photos. Once again, I am keeping my silly chit-chat short. I shall let the photos do the talking. Enjoy!

Rove Travel Tumblers at BUY ONE, TAKE ONE.
People were hoarding these! Great as Christmas presents!

(Right) Subzero Stainless Steel Bottles at BUY ONE, TAKE ONE
(Left) Didn't even notice these at Congressional (even if I took a pic) but saw them at the BGC store!

(Left) Rove Coffee Cups and (Right) Rove Food Jars at BUY ONE, TAKE ONE!

More Rove Mugs, still at BUY ONE, TAKE ONE!

Rove Flask Tumbler also at BUY ONE, TAKE ONE!

More mugs and tumblers on sale!

Anchor Hocking Deep Dish Platter 13in, SALE PRICE: P349.95 BUY ONE, TAKE ONE!

Anchor and Rubbermaid Food Keepers at BUY ONE, TAKE ONE!

Perfect for the company raffle! 6-pc Glass set, only P149.95!

This one's on sale at P199.95!

I wanted to get these, but I don't think glass and toddlers mix well.

The iconic Coca Cola Glass, P299.95!

I love looking through all sorts of glasses and kitchenware. They look so pretty. Now to get a nice house. LOL!

Coca Cola Mug by Libbey 4s, SALE PRICE: P349.95

Step 2 Sketch & Store Easel, SALE PRICE: P1,199.95

Pretty nifty easel, huh?

Hello Kitty Tin Lunch Boxes, SALE PRICE: P199.95

(Left) 5-pc Puzzle Sets, SALE PRICE: P349.95, and (RIGHT) Puzzle in Tin Box, SALE PRICE: P249.95

Remember those tables I got last year? Well, they're finally back on sale, only more expensive by P20!

Thinking if I should get more of these racks to store my bento stuff!
Keter Shelves, SALE PRICE: P1,999.95 BUY ONE, TAKE ONE!

The wider ones were on sale at P1,499.95 each!

Stainless Steel shelving on sale at P2,999.95!

The bigger, wider one on sale at P4,999.95!

Some shelves on sale. Sorry, blurry pic.

These are my fave 4ft Residential Lifetime tables! Still cheap at P1,199.95!

More of 'em tables on sale!

The BUY ONE, TAKE ONE chair. P1,699.95 BOTO Price!

L and I wanted to get this lamp. Only P3,499.95! Then again, it doesn't mix well with toddlers. Sigh.

Charcoal Grills on sale at (LEFT) P1,999.95 for the 22 1/2 inch Grill, and (RIGHT) P1,199.95 for the 18 1/2 inch one.

Table top Charcoal Grill at P699.95!

These were tagged with the wrong price at Aseana. I doubt they moved.
They were moving like hotcakes in Congressional and BGC.

Those best-sellers still selling like hotcakes. Yes, that's the second time I've used that metaphor. LOL!

BUY ONE, TAKE ONE Extra long liners!

Huggies Wipes in Tub 64ct, SALE PRICE: P299.95 BUY ONE, TAKE ONE!

Huggies Wipe Refills, SALE PRICE: P199.95 BUY ONE, TAKE ONE!

Those Minty pocket tissue packs. 

I wanted to get these! But I remembered I still had 4 jars of Cookie Butter at home.
Maranatha Almond Butter, SALE PRICE: P349.95

Ziploc Gallon Bags...

Ziploc Sandwich Bags...

and Ziploc Quart bags...




And Tang! I got reprimanded after this photo was taken. Oops!

These photos are from another store. Hehehe. C'mon, my readers enjoy these posts! And I am sure someone's gonna want to go because of it.

Look, Monica! Your favorite!

Those 300ct sheets I got for my brother's girlfriend, C.

Plush toys on sale!

These were brought out on the second day. Nice gifts.

This one comes with a padded make-up pouch, SALE PRICE: P499.95 BUY ONE, TAKE ONE!

More gift sets on sale at BUY ONE, TAKE ONE!

Anchor Hocking Mixing Bowl 2.5qt, SALE PRICE: P119.95! CHEAP!

I wanted to get this, but I already have two step stools at home. LOL!

People were hoarding these by the pallet! Seriously!

Aren't these lunch bags adorable? They are insulated, too! SALE PRICE: P399.95 BUY ONE, TAKE ONE!

Fluffy 18" Backpacks, SALE PRICE: P319.95!

Pillow Pals, SALE PRICE: P399.95 BUY ONE, TAKE ONE!
I should have gotten a pair! But we have too many plush toys!

Keter Play House, SALE PRICE: P9,999.95!

Member's Selection Trail Mix! Is this good?

Beer Nuts! SALE PRICE: P299.95

I would have taken more photos, but I was busy shopping. Haha! If you want to see more, you have one more day to catch the end of Members' Treat! It ends today! Hurry, you still have until 9PM tonight to make it to the last Members' Treat for the year!

I took home a priceless find! 

Hoard! Hoard! Hoard! 

~~~ * ~~~ 

September 25 to 29, 2013
8AM to 9PM

Bonifacio Global City * Congressional * Aseana - Baclaran * Alabang * Cebu * Pampanga * Davao

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