Maqui's Me Time

Work Prayer



I just want to share a prayer that I read recently. This year, my goal is to be more prayerful. Read here for my 2013 and 2012 goals. I just finished reading the Power of the Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian. One of the prayers that I really liked is about work. Work can be a source of great stress or deep fulfillment. Hope this prayer will help you find the latter.


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Aki's Preschool Years · Books

My Four Year Old’s Favorite Books

Happy blogging anniversary to me!

Here are the books that my 4 year old is obssessed with. We, actually just him because I would rather read something else, can go read these books on and on and on and on.

My Puppy Is Born by Joanna Cole. We bought this book for only PhP5.00 at MCS Booksale. Aki’s evening prayer goes something like this. Thank you for giving Daddy Mxxxxxxx. Thank you for the special gift for Mummy’s office friends. Thank you for giving Ate a house. Please give my mummy a baby. Please give Tita Yana a baby. Please help the victims (of Typhoon Yolanda). Please make me a good and healthy boy. And (pause), give me a dog. Aaaaaa-men.

And look what we saw on the last page. The previous owner of this book was a girl named Emily. It is a sign.

Tacky and the Winter Games by Helen Lester.  Also got this for 5 pesos! It’s brand new by the way (san ka pa!).  We love the Tacky series. Tacky is an unconventional penguin. While his peers are very formal and conforming, Tacky is unique, clumsy and adorable in his own way. This is a great book to teach kids to love their own individuality.

Shopping Guides from Toy Stores. Aki can spend countless hours daydreaming about the toys that he want. He even has this close-your-eyes-and-let-your-finger-show-you-which-toy-you’ll-give-me(as he directs my finger to his dream Beadman toy) game. Am just thankful that he is contented with just looking at the pictures. When we go to toy stores, he does not even us ask to buy him anything.

Winnie the Witch by Korky Paul and Valerie Thomas. This is one book that I have been waiting to hit the Booksale shelves for months. Winnie loves her black cat so much but is having a hard time seeing him because her whole house is also black. She uses her magic to solve her problems. And just when she thought her problem is behind her, she has to come up with another solution again. The small details in the illustrations make this book a feast for the eyes.
Continue reading “My Four Year Old’s Favorite Books”

Maqui's Me Time · Playdates

What are You Thankful for Today?

We had the most wonderful time when we visited Pepper, Mark and A at their beautiful cozy home. We were only supposed to pick up the little something Pepper made for me but we ended up chatting and eating for what felt like hours. It is refreshing to spend an afternoon with another couple for a change. Franco was not his usual KJ self because he and Mark had been friends even before we got married. It was also great to not mind the kids who were busy playing.

Here is the ballerina doctor taking Aki’s blood pressure. Hehe. After that short doctor doctor game, they spent the rest of the afternoon pillow fighting.


Here is the little gift from Pepper.
Continue reading “What are You Thankful for Today?”

1001 Things To Do · Arts and Crafts · Costumes · Holidays

The Unappreciated DIY Viking Costume

Happy Halloween!

Hehe. Had I shared this entry 4 months ago, I would have started it with I am so excited to share blah blah but since we all know that this post is soo late, let me just say I hope someone finds this post helpful 8 months from now.

As early as summer last year, Aki kept bugging me about his Halloween costume. He had been watching How to Train Your Dragon. We have seen it for at least 20 times. I will complain once my eyeballs have fallen off from my eyesockets but for now, I can honestly say that I love this movie! And we are oh so excited for the release of HTTYD II this June. If you have not seen this movie, head to the nearest video store and get yourself a copy. Now! It is one of those rare movies that everyone in the family, regardless if you are 3 or 33, will enjoy.

And it is because of this movie that Aki wanted to be a dragon for Halloween. And not just any ordinary dragon, he wanted a 4-headed dragon costume! After much negotiations, we agreed to have a viking costume instead. Sometimes he looked at his viking costume with the same this-is-sooo-lame irritated expression that we see in teenagers. At some point, I wanted to make him a dragon katol (Franco’s idea not mine) to irritate him more.

My super excited viking..
Don’t move smile for Mummy….
Isn’t motherhood the most rewarding profession? He only stopped complaining when I told him that he’s hurting my feelings. Continue reading “The Unappreciated DIY Viking Costume”

Mrs. Monologues · weaning

In other kitchen news….

Some things that I am loving in my kitchen/dining area

Oolong tea leaves. We make tea at least twice a day.
There is no more space in my bookshelf for my cookbook collection so I transferred the books to the hangging shelves in the kitchen.


Most of these books are from, can you guess , can you guess, Booksale of course! Some books, I got for as low as 10 pesosesoses.

My napkin holder from Ikea. Doesn’t it look like it belongs to some modern art museum? Thanks, Mae for this gift!
Homemade fruit jams by Ate Doring
Continue reading “In other kitchen news….”

Food · Mrs. Monologues

What’s Cooking? What’s Blanching?

Once I have the time, I will blog about these dishes that I whipped up in my kitchen

Crepe with Cookie Butter filling. I have a good excuse for the green color. I did not want to go out just to get the 2 tablespoons of butter for this recipe. The closest that I had to butter was buttercream frosting from Aki’s dinosaur cake.And that black thing is not bagoong. That is ganache from Franco’s birthday cake last August. Please don’t judge me for making the most out of our leftovers 😛
Chelsea’s Graham Balls.


My Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies


Poached Fish. Since we are pretending to watch our weight, I have been trying out new ways to cook.


Here is something from our pre-diet days — Philly Cheesesteak. We are now fans of caramelized onions.


Speaking of healthy, I would like to share a cooking method that I discovered lately — Blanching. There are so many reasons why you should try blanching. It is fast and easy. It preserves the flavor, texture and nutrients. I learned from a very reliable source, the home TV shopping channel, that when you boil your veggies, the nutrients are transferred to the water. If you want to get all the nutrients, you have to eat the veggie and drink all of the soup. When veggies are overcooked, their nutritional value also diminishes. Continue reading “What’s Cooking? What’s Blanching?”

Food · Mrs. Monologues

Tomato Sauce from Scratch

Speaking of church, check out my latest finds from the fruit and veggie section of our parish Sunday market:

Malunggat Fruit, Sigarilyas and Olokon

My favorite find though are these oh so cute native tomatoes. They only cost 40 pesos per kilo. Don’t they look like little pumpkins? They are tastier and juicier than the usual tomato.


Using these babies, I made pasta sauce from scratch

It was so good that I only remembered to take a picture when there were only a few spoonfuls left.

It was so good that I only remembered to take a picture when there were only a few spoonfuls left.

Continue reading “Tomato Sauce from Scratch”

Aki's Preschool Years · Memoirs of a Mummy

Proud Mommy Moments

Proud Mommy Moment in Church

A man in his early 20’s was  pushing his grandmother’s wheelchair.  This was around 6:05AM.

Me to Aki (whispering): Aki, say hello to the lola.

Aki (in a loud door-t0-door salesman tone with matching wave): GOOD MORNING PO!

The old lady waved back and gave the biggest smile.

Me (with tears in my eyes because I am OA that way) to Franco: Nakita mo ba yun lola?

Franco: Oo. Aki made her day.

Promise. Aki’s good morning greeting was so perky and the lola’s smile was so big, it felt like our whole area suddenly lit up.


Aki to the baby of a beggar in church: Hello cute cute baby!


Aki is not allowed to play when we are in church. One reason why we like to attend the 6AM mass is that there aren’t a lot of other kids who make Aki want to stand up and play. Aki however is allowed to play peekaboo with babies from a far.

Aki has been playing peek-a-boo with a baby girl who was about 3 or 4 meters away.

Me: Sige, you can say hello to the baby but don’t touch her.

Aki stood up and went to the baby and her daddy. He went back to our bench after about 2 minutes talking to the dad.

Later, on our way to communion, we passed by the baby.

Me to the dad: Anong pong pangalan niya? (What is her name?)

Aki: Krishna.

Me: Aah. Kala po kase ng anak ko, Fishnut eh.


Same man with the baby after sitting beside us: …. son is very friendly.

I did not hear the first part of his sentence

Me: Kaya po dito kami umuupo (That is why we sit here)

I thought he was referring to the sun…

Franco: Yes, it is all because of the mom.

Man with the baby: You can see that he is very confident. You know, he will make a good ambassador someday.

Me (blushing): Thanks po.

And that statement, from this very nice stranger, made my day. Scratch that. It made my week! I love it when strangers smile back at me. I love it when people I don’t know strike up a conversation. But getting a compliment, the type that makes you imagine your future 20 years from now, is just amazing!


Proud Mommy Moment in Booksale

We were in Booksale yesterday. Franco and I were in the coffeetable and cookbook section. Aki was at the children’s book section. We did not keep a close eye on him because we could hear him from where we were and he just kept talking and talking and talking..

What is your name?

What is the name of your sister?

I have a classmate Enzo he blah blah blah

You go to Don Bosco?! Wow!

You know the other other other other day, I saw a blah blah blah

At first, he was talking to a 7 year old boy named Carlos. I did not notice when Carlo and his family left.  When I looked around, Aki was already chatting and laughing with the saleslady. He also tried talking to a street child who was browsing thru the books but the other child was not in the mood to talk or maybe he just did not understand because Aki talked really fast.

After paying, we left our new books with the cashier and promised to be back later. Aki said goodbye to his Ate Juvy, the saleslady.

While I was buying some pasalubong in the grocery for my UK-based cousins (off topic question. What do you buy for your relatives based abroad? I bought them Lala ube pastillas, ChocNut and Boy Bawang), a promodizer gave Aki a balloon. Franco asked Aki to give the balloon to another girl. Aki said no. He said he wants to give the balloon to me. When I told Aki that it was so sweet of him to remember me but no thanks because I don’t play with balloons, he said he will just keep it. When we went back to Booksale to get our books, Aki pulled my sleeve and whispered, “Can I give the balloon to Ate?”. Of course, I said yes.

——————– Continue reading “Proud Mommy Moments”

Celebrations and Family Traditions · Family Traditions

My Favorite Meal of the Week

What is your favorite meal of the week? Ours is definitely our Sunday breakfast in our picnic van. If you have been reading this blog long enough, you know how much I am a sucker for traditions and rituals.This new ritual that started around November last year is definitely something we will keep doing for as long as we can.  After the 6AM mass, we go to the parish multi-purpose hall where entrepreneurs from our area sell clothes (do check out the 20-25 pesos factory overrun underwears) and food. The food options are wonderful. And not to mention very affordable. I blogged about my finds here and here.

Friends, meet our picnic van, Iron Hyde. Don’t look at me. Franco came up with that name. Aki likes it though and thinks our trusty old van is a real Transformer.


On Sunday mornings, we stick to our favorites which are lugaw with egg for me and Aki.
For my husband who is pretending to be on a diet, an order of fried squid, kwekwek, lumpiang gulay, fresh buko juice and most of the time, another order of the deep fried squid.

These are the memories that I want to look back at.   I want us to remember when Sundays were simple yet precious. I want Aki to remember how we, as a young family, appreciated the small things like the combination of ice cold buko juice and smoking hot lugaw, being part of a community and simply being together. Continue reading “My Favorite Meal of the Week”