Food · Memoirs of a Mummy

Yey! Finally, a Green Leafy Dish that my Preschooler Likes

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Thank you, Lord, for granting my prayers!  And thank you to Papa, my friend Ameron’ dad for the inspiration. His death anniversary is coming up so I dedicate this post to him. Ameron and I were officemates for many years. And in those years, I always looked forward to her lunch which was lovingly prepared by Papa. I love Papa’s calamares, grilled eggplants ( he is the reason why eggplants  are my favorite veggie) and his crispy kangkong. When I remembered Papa’s death anniv, I contacted Ameron for the kangkong  recipe. She said Papa left no recipe because like most great home chefs, Papa just knew the ingredient list and the procedure by heart. Ameron did say that Papa’s crispy kangkong was simple. Just dip the leaves in a bowl of beaten eggs and then dust with flour.  Since we were cooking a lot of leaves and only had 2 eggs left, I diluted flour with cold water. Then I remembered that for my Korean fried chicken, cornstarch was the key to crispy coating so I added that as well. Because I was pretending to be a great home chef like Papa, I did not measure and write down the recipe that I invented.  Ate Dorina suggested that we add eggs to lessen the oil splatter.  And so we dipped the kangkong leaves in my flour-cornstarch-egg-water mixture and deep fried them.  Once the leaves got crispy, we transferred them in a paper towel lined plate. Aki who loves anything that is crispy, enjoyed this appetizer with mayo mixed with Chiz Whiz. Franco and I like our crispy kangkong with garlic mayonnaise.

One of these days, we will try this using alugbati.

Family Field Trips · Memoirs of a Mummy

We Heart Cafe Ilang-ilang @ Manila Hotel

We were ready to go home but we could not resist the call of  Manila Hotel which is just a several feet away from Manila Ocean Park.  Manila Hotel holds a special place in our hearts because this is where we had the reception of our wedding.  Plus they have the bestest cheesecake in town. It’s been awhile since we last went there. Cafe Ilang-ilang  now looks nothing like it used to 6 years ago when we had our food tasting. The place is much bigger now and has more food choices.

I enjoy eating buffet but I always end up feeling a tinge of regret. Since I don’t have the appetite of my husband, I feel like what I ate was not what we’re paying for.  I immediately get full or suya (what is suya or umay in English?). For this special dinner, I promised myself that I will got back to the buffet tables at least 5 times. My technique? Drink only when absolutely necessary. I wonder if there are other techniques on how to get the most out of buffets.

Moving on. Here is what I had. Sorry for the yellowish pictures. Someday but not today, I am going to learn how to color correct my pictures.

My first plate was from the Chinese buffet
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Everything that I got from the continental and Filipino sections was yummy but it was the humba that I remember the most. Anyone who has a recipe?

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From the Japanese buffet.
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I ate fresh flowers for the first time
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For dessert, I got blueberry crepe,

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Continue reading “We Heart Cafe Ilang-ilang @ Manila Hotel”

1001 Things To Do · Family Field Trips

Family Field Trip: Manila Ocean Park {Part II}

Read the Part I here

With the arrival of his daddy, Aki’s energy supply was replenished. Aki enjoyed his first bump car ride, tried arcade games GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAand went to  RAD, a more high tech and expensive arcade on the 2nd floor.

While the boys playing a shooting game, I sampled the free massage c/o the stall that sells massage chairs. Franco hates that I try out services without the intention of buying but I always insist that I am open to possibilities. I have no plans of buying but if they convince me, I just might.

Here, I discovered that my camera was missing! waaah!!
I retraced my steps and found it at the store where I bought fish crackers earlier. Hooray for honest salesladies!

My little energizer bunny begged for another session at the Fish Spa. The daddy who initially did not want to try it,  had so so much fun.

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Does anyone know if there are other places aside from MOP where there are doctor fsh?

We rested for a minute or two to admire the Manila Bay sunset. Nice eh?

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Continue reading “Family Field Trip: Manila Ocean Park {Part II}”

Aki's Preschool Years · Memoirs of a Mummy

Random Big Boy Updates

He’s getting better at ruining a what could had been a great group picture.

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Proof that I have a big boy: We don’t bring a diaper bag anymore. We used to bring 101 items whenever we go out. Now, on days when I am not feeling lazy, I bring 5 things – foldable fan, water, extra shirt, towel/lampin for his back, and a damp towel. When my bag is small or is already full, I leave the water and the fan. Still using wipes? Try bringing a damp towel sometime. It is cheaper, earth-friendly and better at wiping sticky hands and faces. The capsule which often comes with a towel in it, is widely available.

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Aki is taking his big boyhood to heart. Whenever we enter any building that has guards, he always go to the queue for males and does not move until the guard has inspected him.

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Dragons are his current obsession. He even saw a dragon up high in the sky lately.

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One of the stories that my mom always tells about my childhood is how embarrassed she was when she apologized to the parents of a kid I slapped on the face. Now, I understand how truly embarrassing that is. My neighbor and sister in law, Mae, was telling me how Aki misbehaved in their house. It was one offense after another. It felt like a never ending “but wait there’s more” tale.  Mae was not upset at all. She just wanted to let me know what happened. The next day, I made Aki write an apology letter.

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This is not the first time that we apologized. The first incident happened with a stranger sometime in March. Aki and I were in Ceelin’s, a bakery in BF. I was waiting for my relatives. Aki went up to me and said that the other kid in the store was not dancing the Gangnam dance properly. Instead of arms forming an X, the kid’s hands were together. Aki was obviously bothered. I just told him that it is okay and let the kid be. While I was looking out the window, Aki approached the kid and tried to teach him the correct position of the arms. The kid, who was probably less than 2 years old, did not mind Aki and turned around. Then, it looked like Aki tried to slap the kid’s back. The kid cried. Oooooooooooooh shooot! From my angle, Aki did not mean any harm. He just wanted to call the kid’s attention again. Of course, that was not how the other kid’s family saw it. From the kid’s family, I mean mommy, daddy, lolo, lola, tito, tita and cousins, basing on their gasps and piercing looks, they thought Aki was their little prince’s first bully. I really could not blame them. I’d feel the same way if I were in their shoes.  I did not dare explain to them Aki’s side. The grandma looked really upset. I needed reinforcements but hubby stayed in the house because of our LQ and my relatives were nowhere to be found. My brain froze for half a second. Then, I quickly apologized to the mom, removed Aki from the scene and spoke to Aki in private about what happened.  He was also in shock because he did not mean to make the boy cry but he was also still upset that the boy was not doing the dance right. Even though there was nowhere for us to go, we left. About an hour after, we saw the kid again in church. Aki was in a better mood. So were the boy’s parents. The scary lola was not around anymore. We went to the parents and apologized again. This time, it was Aki who personally said “I’m sorry po.” The mom who looked surprised by the gesture, replied, “Aaaaw. It’s okay. (looking at me) Ganun naman talaga ang mga bata, diba? (looking at Aki) What is your name?”.

So all is well in the end but Aki, if you are reading this, you still owe me big time!!

Let’s move on to happier, less traumatizing thoughts, shall we?

But wait, there’s more!

Aki's Preschool Years · Akisms · Memoirs of a Mummy

Question of the Day

Me (asking for a kiss): Aki, kiss-y kiss-y.

Aki (misheard me): What?! You have titi (penis)?!

Me ( suddenly, no longer in a mood for a kiss): Wala akong titi. (I don’t have a penis)

Aki: Why?

Me: Because I am a girl

Aki: Bakit la titi ang girl? (Why don’t girls have penis)

Me (can’t think of  a better answer): Ganun talaga ( That’s the way it is.)

Aki (his face lit up. Inventor mode: on): I make titi machine! Titi machine make girls have titi!

More titi talk here and here

Gift Wrapping · Memoirs of a Mummy

What to give to kids who have it all

Since we are on the topic of gifts, let me share the latest gift that we gave. I always find it difficult to give gifts to kids who already have it all. Last year, I gave a gardening set complete with with munggo seeds. Last week, we got invited to the birthday party of the kids of our neighbors. Just basing on the kid-size play house by their swimming pool, these kids already have the coolest toys any 3 and 7 year old could want. After much thought, I decided not to give toys. Books are my go-to gifts but I had a feeling that they already have a great library.  What Aki gave them is  a painting set. Hopefully they will enjoy making their own masterpiece.

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I got all of these from the Merriam Webster bookstore beside Don Bosco Makati. The acrylic paint was surprisingly affordable. The orange and the green things are aprons. Please send a note thru the contact page if you want to know the prices.

Thank you to Mandy and Lara’s parents for inviting us. Hope the kids will like our gift.

PS. This colorful yarn is one of the best craft things I ever bought. It saved me many times when I could not think of any creative way to wrap a gift.
PS. This colorful yarn is one of the best craft things I ever bought. It saved me many times when I could not think of any creative way to wrap a gift.
Franco's Wife · Gift Wrapping · Holidays · Memoirs of a Mummy

Mother’s Day Gifts

If there was a Best Gift Giver award, it will definitely not be given to my husband. He is on the practical side and prefers to give cash gifts. He also does not have the patience to sit for several minutes to thoroughly think what gift to give and really find it.  Many times, he’d give me a gift and I’d bite my lips as I smile and say thank you but in the back of my mind I ask, “What was he thinking? or I wonder who was the officemate who sold these slippers to him”. Which is why, I try to drop hints of what I want to receive.  A couple of weeks before Mother’s Day, I was telling him of this kitchen toy that I saw in SM – Yonanas. It is a cool gadget that makes ice cream out of frozen fruits. I was expecting that he’d buy me one but he got me something better.
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Continue reading “Mother’s Day Gifts”

Family Traditions · Food · Memoirs of a Mummy

Nutella Cookies

One of our first-day-of-school traditions is baking cookies for Aki and his classmates. Since we had a Nutella jar that was about to expire, I made Nutella cookies. While my cookies were a hit, I was quite disappointed because unlike the other cookies that I baked, my Nutella cookies did not give the kitchen a freshly baked aroma. More than bringing the cookies to school, what I really want is for Aki to remember, everytime he smells something freshly baked,  how his mom would wake up early every first day of school to bake cookies.
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I made 2 batches of these cookies. The first batch came out very pretty and nicely cracked. Too bad, I was so busy that I was not able to take photos. This is a picture of the cookie from the second batch. I just wanted to finish all the hazelnut choco spread. I added flour and eggs without meticulously measuring the ingredients first. The cookies were yummy but not as pretty as the ones from the first batch. Continue reading “Nutella Cookies”

Family Field Trips · Memoirs of a Mummy

Family Field Trip: Manila Ocean Park

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On one fine Saturday last month, oh no, not last month, this was last April, we spent one whole day in Manila Ocean Park. Special thanks to Franco’s brother and to Smart for the free tickets. I have always wanted to go there but found  the tickets too pricey. Franco, who has BJJ training every Saturday and Sunday morning, dropped off Aki and me about an hour before the opening. Because there wasn’t anything to do, I just took pictures of the view.

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While waiting for the opening, we also stayed in one of the function rooms. The function room has a giant aquarium, making it the perfect venue for any under-the-sea themed parties.

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If there is something more difficult to take pictures of than Aki, that would be the sea animals in MOP.

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A smiling stingray
A smiling stingray

Even without nice pictures, we really enjoyed hanging out there.

Special thanks to the dad who took our pictures. I am always on a look out for families and couples who are taking selfie group pictures. I offer to take their picture so they can take ours. hehe.

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Our first stop was the jellyfish showroom.

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Honestly, I was a bit bored here. It only got exciting when a net came out of nowhere and caught several jellies. On the next window, we saw a hand drop a what seemed to be chopped jellyfish. Aki asked the guy what happened and the staff confirmed that some jellyfish are carnivores and eat other jellyfish.

Next stop was the Fish Spa.

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We dipped our legs in a knee-deep pool of doctor fish. The fish scrambled towards our legs and feet and ate our dead skin. Aki was hesitant at first but eventually enjoyed the ticklish experience of being “eaten”. Again, thanks to the couple who sat beside us and took our picture after I offered to take theirs.

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The sea lion show was next. Although Aki and I were one of the last to get to the venue, we got the best seats in the house, right in front, in the very middle because we chose to sit in the stairs.

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After a quick lunch in Henlin’s, we went to the Trails to the Antartic room.  We queued for what felt like 30 minutes. If you have an impatient toddler, you’d know that patiently waiting in line is not fun for both toddler and mommy. When it was finally our turn, I had Aki wear the jacket but he refushed to go in.

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It took a lot of begging and probably 3-4 batches of MOP guests before he finally agreed to go inside the very cold room. When we got in, he happily carefully explored the “snow”.  Warm thanks to the couple who took our picture.

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Aki did not want to leave but I could stand the cold anymore so he had no choice. Continue reading “Family Field Trip: Manila Ocean Park”