Wednesday, May 27, 2015

#HoarderDiaries | Happy Campers with McDonald's Happy Meal!

I would have written this blog post sooner. But I had to finish a presentation for work, and was swamped with meetings, so I am only getting some writing done today - over lunch. 

The summer has been crazy, to say the least. The kids are missing summer because they are taking advanced classes for the upcoming school year (yep, bad momma, poor kids, but they need it. Errr. Tiger Momma talking).

A has been reading her Anne Frank book as a summer requirement for 8th Grade. Yes! 8th Grade, imagine that! I was going through some of her old photos last night, and can't believe how much she's matured in the past two years alone. No more baby!

RL is learning how to read. Although he is familiar with his CVC words and can read simple phrases, he has this habit of guessing the complicated word based on what he thinks makes sense, or what the photo looks like. So he is enrolled at a reading clinic near his old school - this after taking three weeks of advanced first grade classes at his new alma mater.

Poor kids, hehe. They are so used to spending their summers in the office (RL most especially) that I keep getting a "Momma, when will I get to go to the office?" question. It makes me sad that we can't spend time together this summer, but I know these classes will do them well.

So I try to spend as much quality time with them at night and on weekends. RL and I read together before bedtime. I try to get him to read a few books on his own, then he chooses a more complicated book for Momma to read out loud to him.

We've recently completed The Magic School Bus series from McDonald's Happy Meal, so that has been part of our reading list the past few weeks. A loves The Magic School Bus, so she reads it to RL when Momma has to work some nights.

My kids love all sorts of books! They got it from me! I can spend the whole day at the bookstore!

Let me tell you, this is my fave Happy Meal offer ever! I love books. My kids love books. One of my biggest regrets was selling off my Sweet Valley High book collection. Books may get old because of wear and tear, but the stories don't. So when I saw that McDonald's was offering books with their Happy Meal, I bought two meals right away!

Happy, happy... VERY HAPPY MEAL!

There are a total of six books to collect for this series. RL loves each one of them. He also enjoys reading the captions on the pictures. This is the perfect series for your little explorer!

The Magic School Bus series features the adventures of Ms. Fizzle and her class, as they travel onboard a school bus to incredible destinations such as the solar system, the ocean floor, inside the Earth and during the time of the Dinosaurs. Yes, the school bus is a time machine! How cool is that? Each Happy Meal book also comes with a specially designed Happy Meal bookmark.

Rock collecting has never been quite like this! When the class forgets to do its homework, a fieldtrip through the Earth's crust, into the center of the Earth, and out through a volcano will teach them not to forget their assignments again - and then some!

The classroom is decorated as Dinosaur Land, but Ms. Frizzle-inspired by an archeological dig-craves a more authentic experience. The Magic School Bus turns into a time machine and transports the class back millions of years to an adventure where they learn about dinosaurs, their habitats and diets, and even a Maiasaura nesting ground.

Ms. Frizzle's class is growing a beautiful garden, but Phoebe's plot is empty. Her flowers are at her old school! So, the kids climb aboard the Magic School Bus. They go to Phoebe's old school to get some of her old flowers, but they end up actually going inside the flowers. Follow the kids' colourful adventure as they learn how living things grow.

The class finds Ms. Frizzle inside her closet...playing a pinball machine! But it's no ordinary pinball machine — this game is played with light pulses instead of steel balls, and the goal is to use the pulses to light up the six colors of the rainbow! To help Ms. Frizzle win, the kids shrink and go inside the game. With time and the light pulses running out, the kids must discover the secret of what gives things their color — before the principal, Mr. Ruhle, discovers them inside the pinball machine!

The fieldtrip to the planetarium is foiled when the museum turns out to be closed, but Ms. Frizzle saves the day. The Magic School Bus turns into a spaceship and takes the class on a trip zooming through the atmosphere, to the Moon, and beyond! 

When Ms. Frizzle drives the Magic School Bus full speed ahead into the ocean, the class takes a submarine expedition that's anything but ordinary. With a well-meaning lifeguard in tow, the class takes a deep breath and learns about hot water vents, coral reefs, plant and animal life on the ocean floor, and more!

McDonald's Philippines President and CEO Kenneth Yang says, "Family moments are what we aim for at McDonald's. We are in a position to make elusive family moments possible so we're maximizing this privilege by launching Happy Meal Books to inspire more family reading time, and to promote the spirit of learning."

I sure hope they come out with more Happy Meal Books! Like I said, this is my fave Happy Meal ever!!!


With every purchase of a Happy Meal, a portion goes to the Ronald McDonald House of Charities, which helps other children learn how to read through its Ronald McDonald Read to Learn program. This program aims to promote reading to first grade public school students by providing reading kits for both students and teachers.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

#HoarderDiaries | A Lex N Go Bento Afternoon!

Right before the Easter holidays, I got a special invite from my good friend Janice to catch Kat Maderazo (also known to many Bento enthusiasts as @bentobykat) teach her very first Bento class. It was a special event for Lex N Go - Kat's bento box of choice. Being a BentoMomma myself, I was excited to see Kat and support her first endeavor in actually teaching the craft.

That Saturday, however, I was teaching a class as well at Global Culinary Academy. So after my portion of the class (thank you, Moneigh, for taking over!), I rushed to the Powerplant Mall to catch the Lex N Go event at Common Thread.

Kat was already teaching when I got there. Oops. But my dear friend Michelle sent me photos from earlier, and even briefed me through the steps I missed.

@bentobykat herself! I am such a fan! xx This Bento Mom has taken Bento-making to a whole new level!

My seatmates - Em and Rowena... Thank you, Row, for sharing your scraps with me! 

Each participant was given a Lex N Go Snack Box and a pack of Lexliving Silicone Cake cups. The goal was to fill the box with rice and a viand, then decorate it with sides of veggies and fruit.

This small Lex N Go Snack Box retails for P500.00 at Common Thread.

My Nori rice ball cat inside the Lex N Go silicone collapsible Snack Box!
Green! Perfect for RL!

Albeit coming late, I managed to catch up with the class. Hehe. I haven't tried using Lex N Go boxes before their official launch, but already, I am loving their boxes!

My fave feature of the Lex N Go, aside from it being BPA-free, is that it is flexible and collapsible. I love that I can shrink or expand the box to size. Yes! According to how big and bulging my bentos are! Take the cat I made for Kat's class as an example. I made it round and plump. There is no way that would fit in a regular bento box! But look, it fits perfectly inside the Lex N Go. No squishy mess!

Mish captures a photo of me - taking a photo of my work.
Using my old iPhone here, because the screen of my new one cracked the day before.

Lex N Go boxes come in different shapes, sizes, and functions. There is the Small Snack Box, the Medium Snack Box, the Lunch Box, the Sandwich Case, and the Cake Case. They also carry other collapsible silicone items such as the Silicone Mugs, the Espresso Cup, the Snack Pockets, and the Silicone Cake cups.

From Top Left, clockwise: Lex N Go Espresso Cup, Silicone Mug, Lunch Box (in the Gouache Lunch Bag), and a stack of Small Snack Boxes.

Lex N Go products are exclusively available at Common Thread Philippines - with branches at Greenbelt 5 and at the Powerplant Mall.

Common Thread also carries the classy Gouache Lunch Bag! Gouache Bags are made out of waxed canvas and are individually crafted by Marikina Bag Makers! Yes, proudly Philippine-made! The Lunch Bags are water-repellent, and are available in asphalt grey, olive green, navy blue and aqua. I love how this is a sling bag, too!

I am loving my new Gouache Navy Blue Lunch Bag! The Lex N Go Snack Box fits perfectly!
The Gouache Lunch Bag retails for P750.

Kat, distributor of Lex N Go products, details the features of the box.

We take a photo with adorable little Maximus! (L-R) With Rowena, Mish and Em!

Mish and I with the two Kats who made this event happen!

Sunday, May 3, 2015


I am on my second cup of coffee. Working on something for work, but waaaahhh... I keep getting distracted.

This blog post is a perfect example.

I need to get something great done for work. After that, I will be back. Hopefully.

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