Arts and Crafts · Costumes

Last Minute DIY Paleontologist Costume

Good morning!

I am back at work. It feels like I had been missing in action in the office for a year. Even the small things like how the printers work and where do we save files A and B, I need to relearn. While I would rather stay at home forever, no complains about going back to work. The 2-month medical leave that I took was a blessing in disguise. It allowed me to rest and examine what really is important to me. Am very grateful for my teams, colleagues and boss who stepped up and helped each other while I was out. Last week, I prayed for God to remove the heaviness that I was feeling. As usual, He listened.


The downside, of course, is that I won’t have as much time to focus on the things that like to do like DIY projects and blogging.

Speaking of DIYs, one of the fun projects that I worked on last month was Aki’s costume for Liam’s When I Grow Up party.  It did not register to me until a few days before the party that we need to come up with a costume related to the theme.


Lucky me, Aki’s dream profession isn’t so complicated.  Continue reading “Last Minute DIY Paleontologist Costume”

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


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


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.


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.


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 · Memoirs of a Mummy

The worst gift to give this summer

… is a jacket!


But when Aki got into his dino obsession, I just had to do this easy project.

First, using a cardbord pattern, I cut diamonds from my felt cloth stash. I am glad I finally got to use those. I hoarded on felt cloth in 2011 thinking I will never get tired of sewing but I did. My husband will probably nag me for the rest of my life had I pushed thru with buying a sewing machine.

Wait. Where was I?

Oh, for this project, I needed a jacket, diamond felt cut outs and my sewing kit.

I sew, sewed, saw, what is the past tense of sew?? stitched the diamonds on the back of the jacket.


Continue reading “The worst gift to give this summer”

Memoirs of a Mummy


We have a few simple rules on toy buying. (Check out Maggie’s recent post on this topic here ) The number one rule is do not buy. We have two playrooms in the house (blogged about them here and here) and piles and piles of toys. If we absolutely can’t stop ourselves from buying, Franco and I buy secretly. We make sure that Aki does not see us bring the toy to the cashier. I know we are going to get busted one of these days but who cares? So far it has been working. Of the toy store trips we’ve made, we only had to deal with dramafest once. The other rule is  avoid small toys because if they don’t end up missing, they will most likely be in some place they don’t belong like inside the sofa or under my foot. Has anyone accidentally stepped on the Lego block? Ouuuch! We also avoid high tech toys. The less a toy can do, the more Aki gets to use his imagination.

Sometime last February, Franco and I agreed to break rule number one. Aki’s been crazy about dinosaurs, thanks to his first encyclopedia, and his crazy parents want to support this obsession. After Aki played with the dinosaurs on display in Toys R Us, he and his dad went out while I secretly bought 10. I only wanted to buy 3 but Franco insisted we get all. It also did not hurt that the price tag (79 per dino) was reasonable. I know ten seems a lot but I had a strong feeling that the more dinos, the more fun Aki will have. And I was so right.

The next day, we asked our first visitor, my father in law, to pretend that he has something for Aki.


This boy’s happiness really is priceless.


And so are the voice effects  and the facial expression he  makes whenever he is playing with his toys.


Aki knows the scientific name of all his dinos except for the pacephalocy-something. I can’t pronounce it either so we agreed to just call it helmet-head. Only one dino was given a nick name though.


Any guesses on what he named his favorite T-rex toy?

Baby Emily! hahaha
Right before I took this picture, Aki and I were singing Rock-a-bye Baby to Emily.


Continue reading “Aki-saurus”

Books · Memoirs of a Mummy

First Encyclopedia Set for my Curious Child

Thanks to my good friend Rachel, we were able to purchase Aki’s first encyclopedia set at a really discounted price.


Aki has a loooot of books already but I still thought of taking advantage of the sale because Franco and I have fond memories of the encyclopedia sets that we grew up reading. Jana and I had Popular Science, ChildCraft and New Book of Knowledge. Franco can’t remember the title of his old encyclopedia but could talk endlessly about how beautifully illustrated were the inventions, aircrafts and dinosaurs in his books. One of the top qualities that I want to instill in my children is curiosity. I want them to be wondering the whole time. I want them to see the world with a fresh perspective. I want them to be constantly asking questions and interested even on the most common things. Getting an encyclopedia, I think is a good start.

When we were reading about earthquakes and volcanoes, Aki got scared. Read his  impromptu prayer here.


When I read him this part, he got upset.


I don’t blame him. Every time, I think of the time when he would need to move out of the house, I get teary eyed too.

Most of the time, he gets really excited.


Continue reading “First Encyclopedia Set for my Curious Child”

Books · Memoirs of a Mummy

What is your favorite dinosaur?

Today, I realized how corny my childhood was. Unlike Franco, I didn’t  have a favorite dinosaur. The only dinosaur name I know is terodactyl and I am not even sure if I know the correct spelling.  Franco’s favorite, by the way, is the stegosaurus because of its spikes. He watched  Dinosaucers and loved a Dinobot named Snarl.

Because I try to be a cool mom, I now have a favorite  – the Maiasaura.

Anyhoo, lately I have been fond of Aki’s books where the scary animals are portrayed as gentle and loving creatures. These two dinosaur books are my current favorite

dino ball.


can you fee the love?


the maiasaura

Continue reading “What is your favorite dinosaur?”