1001 Things To Do · Books · Faith · Maqui's Me Time

Book Recommendations for You and Your Kids

I have been regularly going to Booksale ever since Aki was born. The sections that I love are 1) children’s books, 2) magazines 3) cookbooks and 4) parenting books. I discovered late last year on one o those nights when traffic was so bad, you’d rather wait until the mall closes before leaving, that there are other sections, waiting to be discovered.

There’s the assorted topic section. Here you’ll find books about pop culture to painting, history to horses, carpentry to cancer and many more. My last good find was for Aki. He likes science so this Weird but True by NatGeo Kids is perfect for him. Continue reading “Book Recommendations for You and Your Kids”

Books · Good Buy · Memoirs of a Mummy

Books for Less Warehouse Sale Haul

Last week, I took a vacation leave from work so I can go to the Books for Less Warehouse Sale in Pasig. From Shaw Boulevard, I rode a Pasig Palengke jeepney. That was the first time I had ever been to that side of Pasig.  Normally, I want to lie down in the couch the whole day when I am on leave but on this day, I chose to work! All for the love of books! Anyhoo, don’t believe the jeep driver if he tells you that La Consolacion and Immaculate Concepcion are one and the same. Those two schools are at least 15 minutes away from each other. From Immaculate, I got a tryke which brought me to La Consolacion which is right in front o the warehouse.  The sale officially opens at 8AM but I was there by 7AM. At first they asked me to come back. I told the kuya’s that I had no idea on which part of Metro Manila I was and had no where to go.

Fast forward to 11AM, I had 70 plus shortlisted books and extremely dirty hands. I was having the time of my life!  From 70, I chose 43 books to take home. If I weren’t commuting, I would probably had bought more.

Here are my tips so you can make the most out of our excursion to Pasig

1) Go there early. Books are stacked neatly in the morning, making it easier to go thru each pile systematically.

2) Shop with a friend. My very good friend Rachel was there with me. I helped her look for Clifford books for Coco and she helped me spot Bible stories for Aki.

3) Find a newbie book-hunting mommy. Not to brag but Rache and I have been shopping for books even before our boys started eating solids. We have extensive knowledge on highly recommended books and authors  for kids 5 years old and below. Hehe. It was great meeting Kristine, a fellow N@wie. Whenever we saw great books for young toddlers, we passed them to Kristine.

4) Ask for a box. If you find something that you like, just dump them into your box. Once you are done going thru the piles, just got back to your box and sort.

5) Ask for help. I can’t remember her name but one of the ate’s can help. If you are looking for a particular book, just tell her.

6) Wear comfy clothes. Wear shorts and a loose top.  You’d also want to put your hair up so bring a scrunchy or a hair clamp. If you are allergic to dust but want to take the risk, wear a mask. Don’t worry, there is a bathroom with a sink where you can wash up and change before leaving.

7) When it doubt, BUY!! Everything costs only 10 pesos.

8) Bring large eco bags. Or better yet, bring your KJ husband so someone can carry the books for you. There are no cabs in the area so if you are commuting, you really have to carry your mini-library all by your tiresome but highly satisfied self.

 

Without further ado, here is my loot Continue reading “Books for Less Warehouse Sale Haul”

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.

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

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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.

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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.
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Continue reading “My Four Year Old’s Favorite Books”

1001 Things To Do · Books

Update: Top 100 Children’s Book of All-time Collection

Good morning! The neighbor’s rooster chorale has been practicing since 3AM!

Thank you to everyone who appreciated our 2013 family photos by Caslow Photography. I agree that the Booksale set is oh so lovely.

Speaking of Booksale, here is an update on our collection of top 100 children’s books. Except for the ones we got as gifts, we purchased almost all of the books from Booksale.

Please give me a round of applause because we now have 74! We did not go to Booksale last year as often as we used to but we still managed to add 20 books to the collection. Happy me!

ABC3D:  89
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Day: Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz  7      
Amazing Grace:  86
Animalia: Graeme Base   19
Are You My Mother?:  P.D. Eastman       31     
Bark George     100
Blueberries for Sal:  Robert McCloskey  27
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?        14     
Caps for Sale:  48
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom:        24
Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type: Doreen Cronin  40     
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs: Judy and Ron Barrett         5      
Corduroy:       29     
Counting Kisses 110    
Curious George:         37     
Dear Zoo;       78
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!: Mo Willems         18
Eleventh Hour: Graeme Base      52
Everyone Poops:  Taro Gomi and Amanda Mayer Stinchecum  21     
Fancy Nancy:  Jane O’Connor     26
Flotsam: T David Wiesner        28
Gallop!: A Scanimation Picture Book: Rufus Butler Seder         65
George and Martha       97     
Go, Dog, Go!: P.D. Eastman      22
Good Night Gorilla      25     
Goodnight Moon  3      
Green Eggs and Ham:  Dr. Seuss  4
Guess How Much I Love You       8      
Harold and the Purple Crayon: Crockett Johnson  15
Have You Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids:    94 Continue reading “Update: Top 100 Children’s Book of All-time Collection”

Books · Celebrations · Christmas · Family Traditions · Memoirs of a Mummy

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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1001 Things To Do · Books · Memoirs of a Mummy

Books! Books! Books! and Some Book-hunting tips

In just a matter of 6 days, I managed to amass these many books! Please don’t judge me. hahahaha.

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How?

Three. Booksale. Trips.  Bow.

Hehehe. I went to BS SM Bicutan on Sunday, Starmall on Wednesday and Makati  Cinema Square on Saturday. Booksale branches are blackholes to my wallet. Good thing I don’t carry much cash most of the time. And thank God, they don’t accept credit cards.

I’ve actually been to Booksale at least 5 times since I took these pictures. If I blog about my newest new books, I will probably need 2 days.

Let’s start with the reading materials that I got for myself.

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I am addicted to Cook’s Country and Test Kitchen magazines.  I probably have at least 20 already.
This book on recommended read aloud books could not have arrived in the shelves at a better time. I actually was browsing online minutesbefore that fateful Starmall visit because I want to collect other highly recommended books outside the list that I always refer to.

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I love these workbooks from FlashKids. There are a lot of printable worksheets online. However since I don’t have a printer, what will I do with them?  Besides, why settle with black and white worksheets if colorful and engaging sheets are available in Booksale? Aki abhors writing so anything that will make the activity more interesting is very much welcome.

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If you guys come across the Maze Workbook, let me know, okay? Aki loves mazes nowadays.

Here is another workbook that I recommend.

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These are the latest additions to our Top 100 Children’s Book collection.

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page8 Continue reading “Books! Books! Books! and Some Book-hunting tips”

Decluttering & Organizing · Mrs. Monologues

Before and After: Boring Wall

Because it was Mother’s Day, I got Franco to finally agree to let me convert this boring wall into a photo wall.

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Normally, he does not want anything on our walls. He likes ’em plain and boring but since it was My Day, he could not say no to me. Hehe. Thanks, Bebekoy! Unfortunately, this project was put on hold because of some roadblocks in reproducing the prints that I want to display. Maybe next time. I am not sad at all because what I did instead is nicer.

Before we go there, here is how the bookshelves looked like some weeks ago.

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Not bad but it hurts my eyes. It definitely looked better last January. My family has this bad habit of not putting things in their rightful place and then totally forgetting about them. I also realized that Aki’s top 100 children’s books should be on the lowest shelves. While arranging the books per color of the spine makes the shelves look organized, looking for a specific book is sometimes a challenge. Not good for someone like me who gets panic attacks when I realize that something is missing or when I feel like I need to find something pronto. What is wonderful with my shelves is that they are really flexible. They are light and are not attached to the wall. I can move and rearrange them. And that is what I did.

Drum rolls please…. Continue reading “Before and After: Boring Wall”

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”

Good Buy · Memoirs of a Mummy

Scrimping and Splurging: Back-To-School Shopping

Where did the last 5 months go? Can you believe we are already in the middle of 2013? For kids, June means the end of summer and the start of the school year. For parents, June is the month of paying for tuition fee, of wrapping books (which does not excite me at all), and of course, shopping for school supplies.

Fortunately, Aki’s school kept the art materials and other supplies that we bought last year. Because of that, my shopping list was slashed significantly. After comparing prices, I found out that the school supplies shopping place-to-be is ….. drum rolls please…. Booksale! Yup, another reason to visit Booksale. School supplies there are cheaper compared to the ones sold in the more known bookstores. If last year’s shopping trip in Cash and Carry was not stressful, shopping in Booksale this year is even better. No lines at all.  I got these for Aki

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And because I doubt like cramming and I hate last minute birthday invitations, I stocked on gift-able books for Aki’s classmates.

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Booksale is known to be a bookstore of second-hand books but they also have a lot of brand new ones. You just have to inspect books carefully. Although this is not true for all books, I noticed that one way to spot a brand new book is to check if it has a mark on the pages. I think Booksale does this so the discounted books sold at their stores will not be sold elsewhere for the original price.

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From books, let’s move on to socks. Last year, I was surprised to find out how expensive socks sold in malls are. I can’t remember exactly but I think we bought a set of three for 150 or 200 bucks.Yes, that is already expensive based on my standards.  I am a commuter who regularly checks out bangketas or sidewalk vendors. I know I can get 3 pairs for as low as 50 bucks. That’s exactly what I did this year.

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We scrimped on socks. We scrimped on school supplies. We scrimped on gifts for classmates.  School shoes was a different story. Continue reading “Scrimping and Splurging: Back-To-School Shopping”

Arts and Crafts · Books · Gift Wrapping · Maqui's Me Time

Gift Wrapping for Baby W and Baby X

When was the last time I blogged about gift wrapping? December?

Several of Aki’s classmates celebrated their 4th birthdays this year but I have been a very lazy gift wrapper. I just turned to my go-to spiderweb design.

Last Sunday, feeling inspired because of the gifts my boys gave me, I excitedly wrapped the books for Baby W and Baby Z.

For Baby W, I individually wrapped each book using craft paper and Japanese paper, stacked them  and bundled them.

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The gifts look nice from the aerial view but something seemed missing if you look at them from a far.

So, I made a half pompom. See tutorial here.

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Continue reading “Gift Wrapping for Baby W and Baby X”