Hand-Me-Downs are Love

Love Love. I was so excited when little sis handed me this big plastic bag full of Rocky’s old clothes last Mother’s Day. I told her a  few weeks back that Aki needs new pambahays and she gave me more than a dozen plus a lot more. Thank you so much, sis!

Before Aki was born, I already had 3 nephews. This means Aki is destined to wear hand me downs for the rest of his life! On the practical side, this is good for my pockets but I have been wondering. Does having a lot of pre-loved clothes and toys have long term effects on kids? Will they have ill feelings and grow up envious of those who have brand new clothes? Are they less attached to their possessions and become less materialistic?  Or are they more thankful? And what if baby number #2 will be a boy? He will be the fifth in line to the hand me downs!

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Sorting with the Avengers

Franco and I have an agreement that we will not be buying any toys for now for Aki. He has a lot already. Plus, the less toys that he has, the more he will be able to use his imagination. I thought that was crystal clear. Oh well, I can alway count on dear husband to break the rules. A few weeks ago, he came home with a surprise for his son – Avengers toy and cup sets from Petron. 

I was irritated, yes, but Aki showed me that even highly commercialized toys can be somewhat educational.

Here is how he packed away his toys.

First, put the characters inside their respective cups.


Next, match the covers with the cups. The covers have two dots. The one with green dots goes to the Hulk cup. The one with red is Iron Man’s. Blue for Captain America and black for Thor.


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Attractions and Fun Finds from the Quezon City Memorial Circle

The Quezon City Memorial Circle is the place to be for  folks looking for a break  from the hustle and bustle of city living. Aside from the playgrounds and the bike lanes, QC Circle has so much to offer. I really wish we live nearby. These are the attractions that we saw but did not get to  try. I heard they also offer boat rides but I did not see those.

Rides

Zip Line

Organic Market

Plants

The tiangge was very promising. I was not able to explore much because there was a monkey wrapped around my leg. Continue reading

A Sad Tale of Octopus and Baby Uod

Our favorite family bonding activity latey is playing with finger and hand puppets.I am not referring to the cute animal puppets from Ikea (Thanks, Ameronie!). Definitely not Furky, the freaky furry puppet from Blue Magic. We kept that away ever since Aki started enjoying chewing its tail.

Friends, meet TicTacToe Octupus and Baby Uod (Baby Worm)

Our usual characters are actually Baby Uod and his mommy, Mummy Uod. Last week, I thought I will give Mummy Uod a break to see how Baby Uod will interact with a new playmate.

After a minute or two of swimming in the imaginary waters and sliding down my leg.

Baby Uod: I Hamdi! (I’m hungry!)
Octopus: Oh, ok. So what do you want to eat?
Baby Uod: White rice and Egg, Fiiiis. (Fiiis = please)

And so, Baby Uod and Octupus got a table (my foot) and started eating. When out of nowhere… Continue reading

Cheap and Cheesy Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Guess who is trying to be a teacher’s pet? 

Me!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was planning to give XXL fans to Aki’s teachers. So silly of me to think that those Donya fans will cost less than 100 pesos. I had to think fast and cheesy and cheap because I only had 15 hours until Aki’s last day in summer school. Tsk tsk tsk. Cramming is not one of my forte but I am quite proud of the gifts that I came up with. What I lacked in the budget department, I tried to make up for in my creativity and cheesy-ness. Haha. More on those gifts later.

For now, allow me to showcase my giftwrapping. If you have been reading my blog, you’d know that I love DIY creative gift wraps. Normally, I research and plan ahead of time. However, since Father Time was not on my side, I had to again think fast and cheap. Good thing, I remembered  Rianne and Irene‘s giftwrapping posts late last year.

For the wrapper, I used one of the artworks that Aki made sometime last March.  Or was that Feb? I had been telling myself that I need to throw out that giant artwork since it is not display-worthy. It does pay not to listen to yourself and be lazy sometimes.

For the tags, I copied Irene’s chalkboard idea. Sandpaper+colored chalk= cute gift tags!

Put the tags and the wrappers together, and tadah!

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Mother’s Day Celebration @ Quezon City Memorial Circle

For Southerns like us, a trip to Quezon City entails a lot of negotiations, seduction and begging with the driver. I know my husband too well. The last time we were in QC was for our SSS ID application back in 2009. We did not even bring a car. We took a cab because he did not want the stress of being stuck in traffic and the hassle of looking for parking. I get where he is coming from. But since it is Mother’s Day, he had to say yes to my request to a field trip to QC Circle, Manila Seedling and UP Diliman. Thank God for husbands who agree to long drives on Mother’s Day.

The first activities for the day were playing, biking and breakfast at the Quezon City Circle. We left the house at 6AM and got there before 7AM. We could have been there earlier if it was not traffic in EDSA (and if hubby listened to me that C5 is the way to go). As soon as we got there, we were greeted by loud aerobics music. This made me really nostalgic. On my very last day as a UP resident, the day that my mom rented a van and picked me up and my boxes from Ilang-ilang Dormitory, Xtianne, Jan (my Elbi friends who also studied in UP Diliman) and I ,  went to QC Circle and danced with the oldies. Good times.

Anyhoo, since I was with a kid, I could not join the aerobics party even if I really wanted to. As soon as Aki saw the entrance to Circle of Fun, the public playground, he ran off.

If I were a kid, I would have done the same thing. Who can resist these?

Nice, eh? Way to go Mayor Bistek for giving the playground a makeover! I wish we have something as nice as Circle of Fun in Paranaque.

If you look closely at the structures, you will see that they are not exactly squeaky clean, especially the undersides.

But for a public playground, I must say, the QC government is doing a good job. Just bring alcohol, wet wash cloth or wipes to disinfect your children’s hands after playing. The comfort rooms were not so bad too. On any given day, I would be more than willing to pay 3 pesos for a clean toilet than use a dirty one for free.

Aside from the playground, another attraction in the Circle is the bike lane.

Everything was as fun as I imagined until….

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South Beach Diet-Approved Fish Provençal Recipe

When I need to lose weight, my go-to diet is South Beach. I tried it twice and it worked on both times. Imagine how thrilled I was to find a South Beach book in Booksale, for only 15 pesos! Winner! I was not health conscious at that time so after scanning the pages, I put the book away. Now that I am helping hubby reduce his weight, I have come to appreciate the book even more. Did you know that the most treacherous part of a meal in a fancy restaurant is the the warm soft rolls served with butter? I also learned that eating anything acidic at the start of the meal slows down the emptying of the stomach which impacts the digestion of carbs. Now, we always have pineapply juice before every meal.

Aside from the wealth of knowledge on how and what to eat, my 15-peso South Beach book also has a loooooot of recipes. Here is a modified version of a recipe that I found in the book.

Ingredients

2 Fish Fillets (cream dory is a staple in our grocery list)

1/8 cup olive oil

6 pieces olives, chopped

1/2 of a can of diced  tomatoes

1/2 of a onion,chopped

1/4 dried rosemary, crushed to release the flavor

3 garlic cloves, minced

Half of  1/3 cup of white wine ( sorry, I did not want to compute and measure)

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Mother’s Day Gifts for the Grannies

How was your Mother’s Day celebration? Ours was tiring! I think it will take me three blog posts to document our celebration.

Anyhoot, while looking for gifts for Aki’s teachers, I suddenly realized that we did not have a gift yet for Aki’s grandmothers. Yikes! I had my eyes set on getting Teachers Jam, Joy and Tina oversized folding fans because they are perfect for summer. After seeing the price tag, I decided that my mom and my mother-in-law deserve the gifts more.

For the gift wrapping, I knew how busy our day would be. We would not have time to buy flowers so why know make the gifts look like flowers?! I made a  post last year on how to make flowers and pompoms out of Japanese paper in case you want to know how.


I love the tags. Actually, I thought of the tags first before finalizing what gift to buy. The idea was lifted from one of my most marvelous Christmas ideas ever. Last December, instead of the usual secret Santa in the office, I suggested that we have a cheap and cheezy exchange gift instead. The mechanics are simple. Think of the qualities of your “baby”. Then, think of objects that represent those qualities. The catch is that the gift should not cost more than 30 bucks. The gift need not be useful but it can not be meaningless. For my “baby”, who happens to be Rosie, one of my favorite people in the team, I gave her a small bottle of Maggie Savor because “mas masarap at mas nakakagana kapag kasama siya”. Cheesy noh?! I know and I love it. For our boss, we gave her a sock. Not a pair. Just one sock because “wala siyang kapares!”. Hahaha.

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