Six!!!

To our

Archie’s-collecting,
Marvel-reading,
Bruno Mars-singing,
Pokemon-card-trading,
Studio-Ghibli-watching,
caterpillar-searching,

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Beyblade-playing,
tuknene-eating,
paper-plane-flying,

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3-hour-napping,
Mummy-unli-kissing,
bad-word-policing,

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God-fearing,
happiness-spreading

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Baby Boy,

HAPPIEST HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

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The Morning My Son Turned 5

About a month ago, my little  bunny turned five years old! Can you believe it?!

I am very much aware that in a few short years, he is going to mature and change. I see it my in nephews and nieces. Rocky at 8 years old, does not want to  wear Halloween costumes anymore.  Jyl, our preteen, is not as excited as she used to be about sleeping over in our house. Don’t get me wrong. I love my pamangkins. They are the sweetest nicest rowdiest kids ever. But I do miss the days when they were so easy to please and they were game for anything. So, while Aki is still at that magical stage, I want to make sure that we make as many beautiful memories as we can.

One of the family traditions that I hold dear is the little ceremony that we have on the morning of his birthday. On this day, I wake up early to set-up, around 4AM.  First, I take out the birthday crown from our keepsake box and prepare the birthday cupcake. This year, instead of a cupcake, we used a colorful jelly that I made. Continue reading

My Jon Snow

To my panganay and bestfriend, happy happy 34th birthday!

Aki is so luck to have the world’s greatest foam swordsman and Tito-Vic-and-Joey’s #1 fan as a daddy. He is going to have so many happy childhood memories because he has you.

By rolling your eyes every time I plan our weekend schedule, you teach me to live simply.

By impatiently waiting and honking in the van while I am still getting dressed, you teach me efficiency.
Continue reading

It is Starting to Feel Like Christmas!

Speaking of traditions, one of my favorite Christmas traditions is our holiday book collection. Every year, our collection grows and grows. When I was still starting this tradition, I’d buy books so long as they look interesting. Now, I only choose books that are age-appropriate and interest-related. Here are some of my newest finds.

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A Houseful of Christmas. The illustrations look familiar because this book came from the same illustrator who did Click, Clack, Moo. Unlike most Christmas book, Santa does not appear in this book. The story is about how Christmas brings the family together. Very Filipino. It reminds me of my family because in my mom’s house, even if there are only 3 rooms, we always have room for all my aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces.

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The Twelve Days of Christmas. I love the vintage-ness of the hand drawings of this book.

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Santa’s Favorite Story

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Santa’s Book of Names. I got this book because the main character, Edward, is also a new reader, like Aki.

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The Annual Birthday Photo Tradition

Hello you!

If you have been reading this online diary long enough, you probably already know that I am obsessed with family traditons. I like the idea of doing the same thing over and over until simple acts become treasured family memories. One of our birthday traditions is taking Aki’s annual birthday photos.

By the stairs
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It took at least 20 attempts to get this shot.

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Silhouette shots

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As you can see, Aki was not very cooperative. Here, he was running away from me.
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Continue reading

A Birthday Cake for the Man of the House

A couple of Fridays ago, we celebrated  Franco’s birthday. We were all at home. I took a leave from work. Franco came from a double shift so he rested on that day. Ate Dorina, to my surprise, decided without consulting me, that Aki will not go to school that day because of his cough. I already set my mind that I will bake a birthday cake. I have always wanted to make Aki’s birthday cakes from scratch but because I tend to overplan, I always end up ordering. Franco, the underplanner that he is,  had other plans. He requested that we all stay in the house and spend a lazy day in bed. No cooking, no baking, no going to the grocery. The only agenda is be lazy.

The next day, while our daddy was out for his weekly jujitsu training, Aki and I baked a chocolate cake for the first time. Special thanks to my UP Comm III classmate, Aikko of Bake Happy for the recipe.

First, we mixed the sugar and mayonnaise. Yup, this recipe calls for mayonnaise instead of eggs and butter. The brand that we used is Best Foods.

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On a separate bowl, we mixed cocoa, flour, baking powder and baking soda. Slowly, we added the dry ingredients to our mayo-sugar mixture. What I like about this recipe is that it does not require a mixer. Anything that will make the clean up easier, even if it means that some gadgets will be collecting  dust in the shelf, is welcome in my kitchen.

The most crucial step, especially in Aki’s opinion, is the taste test. Because the batter did not have uncooked eggs, I let Aki taste and lick longer than usual.

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After he gave his sign of approval, we transferred the batter in a lined cake pan and baked it until the toothpick came out clean.
While that was cooking, Ate Dorina and I made Franco’s favorite spaghetti with meatballs.

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After 45 minutes inside the oven, our chocolate cake was ready. Aikko is right. This cake does not need frosting. It was very moist and chocolate-y.

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It was also around this time when I discovered that my cake stand was missing. I had to improvise.

Here, Aki is frosting our cake.

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We used ready-made ganache from Let’s Bake It, a newly opened baking supplies store here in Bicutan. I was dead set on making my own frosting but really really nice, friendly and customer-oriented salesladies and salesmen are my weakness. I have been to other baking supplies stores and I must say, the lady and her husband (I think they are also the owners) behind the counter of Let’s Bake It, are just too nice to say no to. When I said that I am baking a cake for the first time and it’s for the hubby, she got really excited and told me that if it is for Franco, I must use her recommended brands. She has point. My hardworking husband deserves the best. She was not pushy though. I asked her if she has tips on how to make the frosting look billowy. She recommended a special spatula. She probably noticed the change in my facial expression after she said the price. She then told me that if I am not ready or if I won’t be using it often, I can try using the back of a spoon for the meantime.

Presenting…. our first chocolate cake with the yummy ganache that refused to look billowy…. and my DIY cake stand. Continue reading