Gift of An Ordinary Weekend

Fourteen more hours to go before the weekend! Yehoo!  We will have our annual family photoshoot tomorrow. Super excited. Please pray that the weather cooperates.

Last weekend was lazy, ordinary and fun.  I wish I took more pictures.

Saturday morning. No jujitsu practice for Aki. It was his school’s family day. Last year, I missed to read the memo and forgot to bring food for sharing. So there we were with our packed breakfast, eating in our little corner. When the teachers announced that it was time to eat, we had nothing but pandesal crumbs to offer. While I was turning purple in shame, I could not help but appreciate what was happening around me then. Parents, kids, grandparents and yayas were walking around the rented basketball court, offering food to everyone. Parents chatting with each other about their kids. Kids being kids. Teachers hugging the kids and excitedly catching up with their students’ older siblings who already moved to big schools. I really love the small tight community feel of Aki’s school.  I have been to other family days in other schools. The events were highly organized and well planned. There were sponsors, a professional host, marketing booths that gave away sample vitamins, freebie bags, etc.  The families were required to buy food  vouchers from the school and get food from the accredited food booths. Each student and family member had to buy family day shirts. Maybe it was in a way a fund raising activity for the school. At the end of the day, regardless of how big or how simple a school’s family day is, everyone goes home happy. It just that for me, given a choice, I will go with a simple event where the focus is on getting everyone to know each other better.

Anyhoo, I vowed that this year, I will be a better school mom. I woke up early and made chocolate cupcakes. GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Those crater things are melted ganache. My father-in-law described my cupcakes as solid. I did not understand what he meant until I took a bite and remembered that I forgot to add baking powder and baking soda. hihi

Guess who had fun helping me?

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Another weekend highlight is Aki’s new old bike. It was another hand me down from Kuya Rock.

 

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Is it just me or do you also find your husbands super sexy when they, all sweaty and focused,  are working with tools? Thank God for technical high schools. Franco loves tinkering and knows how to use the things inside our toolbox. I am such a girl. I don’t even know what those tools are called. Maybe once I have a girl, I will exert more effort in trying to be a handy mommy. Continue reading

Where to Eat in Betterliving: Greek Taverna

Franco and I are always excited to try new restos here in Betterliving. Our current favorite date place is Greek Taverna. I discovered it one late Friday night when I had to take the shuttle the goes around Merville, Moonwalk, Multinational Village before heading to SM Bicutan. Since we discovered it early this month, we have eaten in Greek Taverna thrice. That’s a lot considering we hardly eat out. This hole-in-a-wall resto stands out in an area more know for vulcanizing shops. If you are coming from SM Bicutan, it is just a couple of meters after Chateau Elyssee. With its electric blue and white colors, this place is hard to miss.

Here is what we ate on our first date there

Taramasolata (cod caviar) with pita
PhP160
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Gemista (oven baked stuffed bell peppers with rice, ground beef, served with roasted lemon potatoes and Greek salad)
PhP 270

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Pork Gyros with chips
PhP 270

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Continue reading

The Caterpillar Story

Last summer, Aki and I started our caterpillar project. I thought it was going to be a walk in the park.  We have a calamansi plant in our backyard that those carnivorous caterpillar-eating birds did not know of. Unfortunately, someone spilled our secrets and we found ourselves shooing away the birds more often. Weeks had past and none of our wormy pets turned into a butterfly.

Things only got better when I rediscovered the old tulle we used to babyproof our electric fans when Aki was still a young toddler. With the help of the tulle, we were able to keep our caterpillars safe from birds.

Here is what we learned about these interesting creepy crawlers

We learned that initially, they are black. The newly hatched caterpillar actually looks like insect poop. Give it a couple of days and it will grow into this

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Don’t blink because in a few hours, it will be turn green

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The green caterpillar will greedily eat leaves. No wonder it will triple in size in just  a matter of days

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It is ready to transform once it starts to look like this Continue reading

Homemade Chocnut Ice Cream

Happy Friday!!

Because my first attempt at making homemade ice cream was such a success, I was inspired to make another one. This time, I wanted to create my own ice cream flavor. I chose something that was close to my heart, something I grew up eating. It was either Chocnut or Haw Flakes. Since Haw Flakes are hard to come by nowadays, Chocnut was the way to go. Would you believe that I had to go to 5 sari-sari stores just to find my precious Chocnut bars? Are they not in demand anymore? I don’t know with other kids but for the kid in my house, there is no other better chocolate than Chocnut.

Aaaaaaand here is how I made my epic chocnut ice cream.

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Unlike with the chocolate ice cream I made, this time I used heavy cream. Look for the canned Nestle cream if you need one. I measured 1 1/4 cup cream, placed it in bowl, transferred the bowl and the whisk inside the ref and let it chill for a couple of minutes while I measured the other ingredients. This was not part of the original recipe. I was just too lazy to bring out the mixer to whip the cream. I read somewhere that to make whipped cream, make sure the bowl and whisk are cool. I thought I’d give it a try. At some point,  when my joints were already painful, I regretted not using a mixer. Whisking by hand for 2 minutes-5 minutes while pretending you are as fast as the fastest setting on your mixer,  is no joke.

In a microwave-able bowl, put 1/2 cup condensed milk, 3 tablespoons chocolate chips and 1/4 cup  sour cream. Of course that is not what I did.  First, I rejoiced because I discovered that the left over cream in the can makes exactly 1/4 cup. I thought I read in Maggie’s or Sha’s blogs  that you can make sour cream by adding acid to cream. Wrong! That applies only to buttermilk. It was too late when I realized that vinegar and cream do not make sour cream. Haha. And I was too lazy to go out of the house for just 1/4 cup sour cream. Then, to my “sour cream”, I added the condensed milk and chocolate chips. The original recipe calls for white chocolate but I did not have that and yes was too lazy and cheap to buy some. It was here that I remembered that my microwave gave up on us a couple of days ago. RIP, dear microwave. You served us well for 4 years. I went to my neighbor and used their microwave. According to the recipe, microwave the mixture for 1.5 minutes to melt the chocolate, stopping every 30-45 seconds to mix. But because my sweet little baby niece Rya is so cute, I forgot the time. When I checked on my milk mixture, half of it already spilled. Oh well, nothing new. I went back to the cookbook. I read the recipe again and learned that the sour cream was not supposed to be heated and that I need vanilla extract which I also did not have. Continue reading

Animal Hero

Aki was asking about a picture he saw in his shark book.

Me: Aki, some people kill sharks, get the skins and make shark skin bags. Some people also kill turtles and make turtle soup.

Aki (thinking for a second or two) Mummy, some bad people kill horses and (points to a toy in his playroom) make dead rocking horse! I (will) tell them to stop and give (them) to the police!

Breaded Porkchop with Teriyaki Sauce

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Good morning!

It is been a while since I last posted. I do have a good excuse. I have been reflecting, reflecting on so many things. My life. My family. My goals. My job. The future. The people who helped me get to where I am now. Aki. Franco. Emily. Money. Haaaay.

Anyhoo, my favorite celebrity chef is Chef Boy Logro. Isn’t he the most entertaining celebrity in GMA-7? I love his energy on TV. I love how his recipes seem so effortless. I was delighted to find out that he now has his own food magazine. This recipe came from the vol. 2 no. 3 issue. Call me fanatical and biased but this porkchop is one of the bestest that I have ever tasted. The pork was full of flavor and very moist. The breading was very crunchy, just the way Aki and I like it.  It was so good that I almost ate half of a porkchop even before dinner was officially served. And the sauce was surprisingly easy. We had a lot of leftover teriyaki sauce which we later used as base sauce for a couple of veggies dishes.

Ingredients

1/2 kilo porkchop
1/2 cup oyster sauce
Eggs
Breadcrumbs
Oil for frying

Marinate the porkchop in the oyster sauce for 15 minutes.
Beat the eggs. Dip the porkchops in a bowl of beaten eggs. Cover thoroughly with Japanese breadcrumbs.
Fry each side of the chops for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with teriyaki sauce and steaming hot rice.
Continue reading

The Gift of An Ordinary Weekend W#35 – Day 2

Read the day 1 of his ordinary weekend here. Lemme just clarify that while Aki is now learning martial arts, he won’t be taught any combative moves until several years from now. The main goal of his lessons is self-defense. I forgot the word NOT in my last post. Franco panicked as soon as he read it.

7:42AM

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAFirst order of the day: Play with the brand new helicopter. Normally, I raise an eyebrow when Franco wants to buy a toy for himself.  But since he has been working really hard these past few months, he deserves to spend his incentives in anyway that will make him happy. And being the big kid that he is, he likes remote controlled toys. He said he wanted one when he was still small but RC toys then were too expensive. Whatever makes you happy, Be!

8:10AM

After I found the missing Iron Man action figure which Aki and Ate had been looking for, Aki said to me, ” You are a good finder, Mom! You can find anything!!!”

Afraid. I think he is going to ask me to look for all his missing toys.

8:32AM

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Cry me a river. Aki cried and cried and cried when he learned that we are not going to Kevin’s, his martial arts instructor.

8:42AM

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But as soon as he saw the pool, he turned into an excited bunny.

I tell everyone who tells me that they like my blog to give blogging a try.  Blogging allows me to reflect and be more thankful for what I have, don’t have and have surpassed. Thirty minutes of blogging is 30 minutes of control regained. And with life happening too fast, a time to reflect and a sense of control are precious gifts only you can give to yourself.

Another major blogging bonus is meeting fellow blogging friends. If you are lucky, you will meet a fellow blogger who lives nearby. And if you are really really lucky, you will meet a fellow blogger who lives nearby and has a pool! hahaha. Thanks, Maggie for giving me the opportunity to witness my son’s first cannonball.  Aki loves her Tita Maggie so much, he wants to buy her a Barbie doll.

1:22PM

Two hours in the pool is more than enough to drain my energy supply. When we got home, I lounged in the couch and read my newly acquired Booksale treasures while Aki free-played all afternoon.

May I just say that I got Allison McGhee’s Only A Witch Can Fly last month for 120 bucks. To my dismay, copies are now being sold at 25 pesosesoses. I bought another copy and plan to give it to the next birthday celebrant in Aki’s class.GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

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this one is called The Large Eating Machine

this one is called The Large Eating Machine

2:02PM

Aki’s hungry again.  I love it when Aki does things on his own. Here, he got himself a loaf of bread, coco jam and a bread knife.

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Because he was so cute, I volunteered to make him a cup of melon milk.

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2:22PM

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Dadey’s back! And he could not wait to play with the apple of his eye.

2:42PM

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According to Aki, this is a  nemuclosaurus. He invented that name

2:53PM

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And he is hungry again! We all ate the forgotten strawberry ice cream that had been sitting inside the freezer since Franco’s birthday. Continue reading

Updated: The Gift of An Ordinary Weekend W#35 Part 1

8:05AM
The most awaited day of our save-the-caterpillars project has arrived!
Will blog about it soon.

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8:45AM
We are off to Franco and Aki’s martial arts training. Yes, another member of the Familia Kiki is now into martial arts. And yes, I am so OP (out of place). Last Saturday was actually Aki’s second session. Aki’s training is all games and play. He doesn’t even know that he is being taught self-defense techniques. Normally, I get bored when I watch Franco train but last weekend, I made sure that I was present. One, I want to see Aki in action. I missed his first session because I had to perform my civil duties to help the commerce in my country, aka I went to Divisoria. Two, I wanted to talk to Aki’s self-defense instructor to understand the program. I was told that Aki will NOT (thanks, be, for pointing out that I missed that  important word)  be taught how to punch or do arm-locks. If someone tries to bully him, Aki will know how to control the movements of the bully. And because I am such a crybaby, I secretly shed a tear or two. My heart was bursting with pride when everyone was cheering Aki while he practiced the moves that were taught to him. I am hoping I will learn not to cry every time I watch Aki because I might make Franco’s guy friends freak out.
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2:36PM
Sad news welcomed us when we got home. One of our parrot pets, Cling, passed away. Yakk,the other bird, was too aggressive. She kept on biting poor Cling. She also did not want to share the food with her cagemate.  We made a difficult decision to let Yakk go. Aki was really sad when we set his last bird pet free.

We are considering getting him a puppy on his birthday.  Any suggestions on what breed to get?

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To bury the sadness, we went to the mall.While, the daddy paid our bills, Aki and I went to Booksale. Daddy came minutes after. When he got bored, he brought Aki to the arcade. When they went back, I was still not satisfied with my book-hunting. Franco went to his go-to barber for a scalp massage while Aki and I continued looking for books.

5:12PM
When the two of us reached our Booksale budge limit got tired, we went to McDo. Aki’s Kiddie Crew coordinator recognized him and gave him a toy. Thanks, Kuya Iann. Aki and I bonded over strawberry sundae and fries.
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Aki and His Megasketcher

Finally, Aki’s interest in drawing is back. Super mega thanks to his Megasketcher which was a gift from my in-laws 2 Christmases ago. The fact that it has been with us for over a year and a half, says a lot about its staying power.  I will definitely consider giving a Megasketcher on the next birthday party that we will attend.

Some of his drawings

A whale with an egg with a baby whale

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Fish with scales
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He calls this Weird Turtle

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“Dinosaur Pump” which is a cross between a T-rex and an ordinary spray bottle
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Water dragons but there is no space for the 2nd dragon so you only see its spikes

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Aki said this is a friendly monster
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My favorites
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