Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Pre-Giveaway Bento Giveaway!

And so it has been pretty busy over at BentoMommas. So much so that we've had to buy shelving for stocks. Yes! We now have a pretty small, but organized "warehouse". Imagine that.

Busy is an understatement. And the Facebook page almost has a thousand likes. That's a mighty feat! Considering we started out as a group of bento moms with this crazy idea.

So anyway, because we're about to reach that "1,000 likes" milestone, we thought it would be cool to stage a BIG BENTO GIVEAWAY. And well, we're not quite at 1,000. Haha! So this BentoMomma thought she'd go through her own bento loot to see if she can organize her own little giveaway - a pre-giveaway to the giveaway sort of giveaway. LOL!

Et voila!

Kit includes: 2 star silicon cups, 2 mini oval silicon cups, a butterfly silicon cup, star picks, skittle picks, G-clef skewers,
2 sauce bottles, 3 plastic fruit barans, a set of Wilton FoodWriters and an original Mickey Mouse bread press!

So easy to join! Here's how:

1. Follow the steps as detailed on Rafflecopter below. The more steps you accomplish, the more raffle entries you get. If you don't see the Rafflecopter giveaway template, click here.
2. Deadline for entries is 12AM, Monday, 3 February 2014 (that's a minute into Monday).
3. The winner will be announced next week.
4. This giveaway is open to Philippine residents only. You must provide your complete Philippine address. The prize will be shipped to the winner. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That's it! Good luck!

Monday, January 27, 2014

3-2-1! Voila! 1-minute Microwaveable Cake!

I've been wanting to try this out ever since I saw it shared on lifehacker. And for days, I have been wanting that quick fix, to no avail (only because the grocery store next door doesn't sell imported cake mixes!).

So yesterday, while waiting for church to start (we were in the area early), I decided to grab a few essentials from Unimart. I was all too eager to try this out, but had to wait 'til today. See, I no longer keep a microwave oven at home. Our old one (one I got for a wedding gift) is now in the office pantry.

Anyway, back to that cake craving and the quick fix, here's what you need in order to make yourself a quick and easy, moist, hot cake out of the (uh...microwave) oven in less than 3 minutes.

Get two packs of Cake Mix. One has to be Angel Food Cake. You can use any other cake flavor for the other pack. I chose Red Velvet. Mix the two cake mixes together and store in an airtight container. I separated my already-mixed mixes into three pint-sized ball jars. That way, I don't have to bring everything to the office (and risk everyone asking for cake, LOL).

Once you have that mix, it doesn't take much to make yourself a single serving.

From top: 2-in-1 Cake Mix in a pint-sized Ball jar, my Worship Generation mug, a tablespoon and water in a cup.

3 tbsp Cake Mix
2 tbsp Water

1. In a mug, mix 3 tbsp Cake Mix with 2 tbsp water.
2. Pop in microwave oven and cook on High for one minute.
3. Cool a bit and enjoy your cake.

Optional: You may top with frosting, whipped cream and/or fruits.

Put 3 tbsp cake mix in a mug.
Add 2 tbsp water.
Mix well. Make sure you get the mix by the bottom edges of the mug.
Ready for the microwave oven!
Microwave on High for 1 minute.
Be sure you cool your cake (and mug!) a bit before topping with frosting, cream or fruits.
Excuse the blurry pic. I was too excited to top my cake with whipped cream!
Et voila! Cake! Omnomnom!

So easy! There ARE days when you just have to forget about that diet. Haha!

Enjoying my red velvety angel food cake at work. Mmmm...


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

No-Wilt Cilantro (Guaranteed!)

I'm cooking up a Bento Giveaway (more like a pre-giveaway to a grand BentoMommas Giveaway), but need a little more time to gather prizes. So while we're waiting for that post, I thought I'd share this quick tip I learned over the Christmas holidays.

My daughter A and I are big Cilantro (wansoy) fans. Whereas my siblings cannot even tolerate it in Chinese dishes (or any dish - how sad!), A and I are in-love with this herb! Anything with Cilantro is omnomnom for us - even the ordinary noodle soup gets plus points with a few sprigs of chopped Cilantro!

So anyway, we've been having a hard time keeping cut Cilantro fresh. I mean, we buy a bunch and they are sure to wilt within 24 hours. We've tried every single tip like keeping the roots soaked in half an inch of water, wrapping the bunch in newspaper, keeping it by the ref door, etc. Name that tip, we've tried it - to no avail. If the leaves don't wilt in a day's time, they should keep for a couple of days max. Wrapping it in paper AND keeping it by the door seems to extend its life for a few more days - only they dry up and not wilt. But then, what good is Cilantro, if not fresh? 

Right before Christmas, one of my bffs from work invited us over for Christmas dinner. While there, over good food and stories about our kids and office politics, I learned this special trick that keeps Cilantro fresh for weeks! 

And you know what? IT WORKS!

Now, if you own a supermarket or a vegetable stand, and want to keep those sprigs fresh... you should try this!

Get a bowl or reusable food container, and soak those sprigs in about an inch of water (depends on how much fresh Cilantro you have). Keep in refrigerator. That's it.

So that's how you keep them babies alive!!!

We've had these for over a week, maybe two. And they're still alive!!! I've probably wasted hundreds of pesos on Cilantro alone - throwing the unused and wilted sprigs after a day. This is going to save me money (and trips back to the supermarket!). Thank you, R and J for this great tip!

Don't forget to change the water every other day!

Now why didn't I think of that? 

Like this tip? Click LIKE and share this post on Facebook! Thanks!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I have a confession to make. 

In the past quarter, I have lost a little zeal. Not that I hated God, but I was so tired of waiting on His promises, that I just lost touch. There were days when I totally went without prayer - and it goes without saying that I also stopped reading my Bible. And eventually, life took over and I stopped going to church.

It's not that I didn't want to fight. It was more like I was so tired of fighting. I knew I had to wait on God's time, but I felt like I was fighting the battle on my own - and that I wasn't going anywhere.

When one of my best friends called to ask if I was doing Prayer and Fasting this year, I gave her a whole bunch of excuses (my way of defending the wrong things I do) - one of which was "nagtatampo ako kay God." I don't exactly know the correct English translation for this, but it is one way of saying I was disappointed with God. I was grumbling, in a way.

And I went back to those days when I prayed and prayed, and God never seemed to listen. My prayers would look like they were answered, but then I'd hit a brick wall, and go back to square one. It was very frustrating. I'd cry out to the heavens and ask God what I was doing wrong - even when, in my heart, I knew exactly what I was doing wrong.

Yes, I knew. I WASN'T FAITHFUL. Yes, I prayed, but it was more like prayer out of obligation. I was standing for my marriage, and yet, I was doubtful and not hopeful. I was back to wearing that mask. In my head, I kept reminding God about how I took that leap of faith, and it was as if He retorted with "What faith?"

And so I continued acting as if it was God who was at fault. Don't we do that? Play the blame game? And you know what else was more frustrating? The fact that I knew exactly what to do to get out of my rut, but I had neither the will nor the strength to correct my wrongs.

And so it went on, until I couldn't run away from God anymore.

I don't want another wake-up call. The first one came in the form of A getting Dengue back in October. Many more small wake-up calls came right after - they were pretty easy to ignore, except that they all came with flashing headlights telling me "God is waiting for you! Read your Bible! Pray!"

It isn't easy hiding from God. Especially because He seeks out his lost sheep. Imagine a faithful Father who loves you unconditionally, regardless of how you treat Him. Breaks my heart just thinking of the heartache and the longing I gave Him.

Anyway, this message spoke straight to my heart. And that best friend who asked me about Prayer and Fasting? The same one I gave a hundred and one excuses to about why I was disappointed with God, etc? Well she was in the congregation during this message and she sent me a text about how this message was especially for me. I sat through Church that Sunday (my first one in months!) and knew God was telling me to wake up.

Video courtesy of Victory Greenhills

You won't find a synopsis of the message on this post, nor an explanation on how it spoke to me. That's because I want you to take time out to watch it. It's pretty long, almost an hour in length, but it speaks volumes. If you are in a similar situation where you are lukewarm in your spiritual life, stop running away. Watch this, and wake up.

This battle isn't mine alone. It isn't just yours, either. It is His battle and He fights alongside you and me.

No wake up, calls, Lord! I am wide awake!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I'm coded on Wednesdays, and it kinda sucks to stay overtime at the office just waiting for the clock to say it's fine to leave. I mean, I don't mind working extra, but it gets kinda scary working all alone when you know 95% of the building's occupants have left.

I don't really enjoy hump days.

Well... except for deals like this from Daiso Japan (formerly called Saizen) that only happen on Wednesdays.

Yes, if there is one thing I hoard, it is tissue - what with kids with allergic rhinitis and all the sneezing. So this here is one welcome Wednesday treat.

*NOTE: The Wednesday Tissue Madness Promo is valid at Daiso Japan (Saizen) Robinsons Metro East and Robinsons Galleria only.


Visit a Daiso Japan store near you! 

Robinsons Galleria 
Robinsons Place Manila 
Market! Market! 
Robinsons Metro East 
Robinsons Magnolia 
Pavillion Mall 
Robinsons Place Calasiao 
The District Mall Imus 
Robinsons Place Malabon 
Robinsons Place Palawan 
Robinsons Place Bacolod 
EMA Town Center Meycauayan 
Robinsons Centrio 
Robinsons Place CDO 
Robinsons Place Iloilo 
Ayala Center Cebu 
Robinsons Place Malolos 
Robinsons Place Butuan 
Ayala Abreeza Mall Davao 
Robinsons Place Tacloban 

Soon to Open: 
Robinsons Place Roxas 
Robinsons Place Isabela

| Check out Daiso Japan/ Saizen on Facebook
| Twitter: @SaizenbyDaiso
| Instagram: @saizenPH

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


My little boy turned five last month. I can't believe it. He will soon be out of his toddler years, and that makes me sad. To me, he is still my baby, but I know he can't stay small forever.

We weren't really planning a party for his 5th, but the kids at his school make it a point to celebrate their birthdays there, so RL was kinda expecting the same. That, plus the BentoMommas were sorta pushing for a bento party so I can practice my bento catering skills. LOL! So, this BentoMomma gathered all her energy to prep for a 30-minute bento party (yes, 30 minutes, maybe even less, because that's all the time you get for recess at the little boy's school).

We were going for Spidey, but thought it would be best to reserve Spidey for another occasion. Besides, Lightning McQueen would be easier for this Momma. So after researching and some serious net surfing, Momma came up with this:

Disney Cars Bento Party!
I made Lightning McQueen out of Spiced Ham (the taste suited the spaghetti, plus I liked its reddish hue), bread, cheese and nori. It sits on a bed of my special tri-noodle spaghetti. I served this with a cheese cake imprinted with Disney Cars characters, 3 pieces of chicken nuggets, a piece of gala apple sliced to resemble a checkered flag, and some gummy race cars. Yep, this Momma made 25 of these! 25! Can't say it was easy, but the results were very rewarding.

A closer look at Lightning McQueen...
I found some red reusable containers at the supermarket, and used that to hold the bento meals. Printed out a party tag and voila, this BentoMomma is now ready to do a little bit of bento catering (I hope I don't regret saying that, LOL). The thing with RL's preschool is - everything had to be reusable, so I was really careful with how I packaged everything.

I decorated the wooden utensils with red star washi tapes from Paper Chic Studio.
I ordered a Lightning McQueen cake from the neighborhood bakery (our favorite Orange Chiffon with their signature marshmallow icing!). It was a hit with the kids, although they didn't quite get to taste it, because after RL blew out the candles, it was time to head back to class.

They were thoughtful enough to incorporate the number 5 on McQueen's body. 
For giveaways, I used our leftover cups from the Family Day Bazaar and filled them with goodies - gelatin cups, M&Ms, Pocky, Chupa Chups, rainbow mentos, Chocolait drink, etc.

I found this cool Lightning McQueen candle, and RL actually had a total of 6 candles (5 small ones plus this one)
which I thought was a wrong move on my part, because he kept asking me "why 6". LOL!
It was a simple party, if you discount the prep time for the bento meals. I loved how the kids reacted to their meals (although it wasn't much of a surprise because these kids were used to seeing my little boy's bento lunch). I love how they appreciated what I prepared, so this was a very fulfilling experience.

This little girl was really digging into my tri-noodle spaghetti, and she kept saying it was "so good".
I can make you spaghetti forever, S!
The not-so-little boy posing with his birthday cake.


To see more of my imBento work, follow me on Instagram at @momma_makes_imbento.
Looking for Bento tools? Check out the BentoMommas Facebook page here

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