29 December 2016

Cleaning with Domex

Merry, mad, murky; it's a bit weird to put these three words together but you know, these best describe our home the past pre-holidays as a servantless family. While it's true that celebrating the birth of Jesus made us all nice and sweet to each other (I tried my best, haha), we can't deny that the stress it brought us was maddening. I have matured, though. I chose to prioritize the things that make me mad. I focused on what's purposeful. To be honest, cleaning one of the most important parts of the house wasn't in my list. My kitchen's my top priority, for obvious reasons.


Well, it's the bathroom. There were days when I just come and go in that little cold place of ours. The only fortunate thing about it is it's not a common ground for everyone (the word everyone pertains to the three of us plus my kitchen assistant, fyi). My only child, Sophia, has her own bathroom in her playroom slash dressing room. She cheerfully shares it with anyone who'd ask where they can do their thing. So I regularly clean it for her health. We used to have a wash room for guests beside the laundry area but I converted it into the new laundry area 'cause of the midyear storms. Gosh, so many banyo stories, hehe. Anyway - 

22 December 2016

Shrimp Pesto Spaghetti

It was 10 years ago when I first tasted a pesto pasta dish. Tbh, I didn't like it! I wonder why it tasted so minty and leafy and starchy when in reality, a real pesto dish tastes super good that even kids (who, according to a lot of studies, do not like any food that is colored green) would eat. I'm glad my little foodie likes pesto. As for my husband, let's say, it puts him in a real good mood.


So when I was luckily invited to Contadina's Supermarket Raid last month, I was excited when I found out that they have Pesto alla Genovese Sauce in 190-gram jar. You see, they got me at the jar. I have this thing with bote, you know, hehe. Seriously, a pesto sauce in a jar with an affordable price? Only kusineras-who-budget like me would know why it makes me happy! Sure, there are local brands that has pesto sauce / mix, which are actually way cheaper but let's admit it, it doesn't taste like the real deal. Theirs also aren't in a jar. Heehee. This one, though? I'm not just trying to please Nigella (as if she'd care about whatever I'd say) but Contadina is true to its word when they said in the packaging - "using the finest ingredients that deliver rich and authentic flavours worth savouring". 

16 December 2016

Last Minute Online Shopping

For real? It's almost Christmas and I still haven't decorated the house with anything celebratory?! What is happening? 


Well, I know it isn't healthy to cram all the time but I know I can manage. I've been like this since we lived on our own. Not that it's okay but we still had happy holidays the past years so I just feel like this year won't be different. After all, decors last until January the next year so my tweenager would still see the merriment it brings. 

12 December 2016

Baon Serye Talks at Accenture

The only time I talked about my #baonserye passion project here was when I wrote this article about how I feel about my *15 minutes of fame*. I haven't done a full-length feature about it. Perhaps, the things that happened right after it went viral were a bit overwhelming that it kind of consumed me I didn't have the time to elaborate it here. Say, my fan page's inbox was flaming! I remembered I woke up with 60+ unread messages and what - thousands and thousands of followers. So intense. For this bloggy mom, who worked so hard to get at least a hundred people to follow me four years ago, getting 32k (as of this article) was truly nakakakilig! Anyway, I hope this post will suffice for now. 


Those were just, let's say, the first of many happy things that this passion project has given me. I got interviewed by Asian Parent Philippines and was featured in Psst.ph, a local e-zine. But the most rewarding of it all was when I was invited by Accenture Philippines to do a baon-making workshop with the Accenture Technology Women Leaders here in Manila. 

03 December 2016

Pork Binagoongan

I was in college when I realized how I seriously loved fried eggplant with bagoong. Well, my college life was all about siomai and rice. Or pancit canton and rice - so that's very understandable. Yup, carbs on carbs most of the time! Haha. That's what being in a State U is, you know. 


Anyway, when my husband R and I got together two years after I graduated from college, the siomai and rice combo still exists but that's when I realized the importance of mealtimes in our relationship. Him being in the military makes us get together for only three times in a year! So this homecooking ladylove should make it a bit more special each time. But let's be honest, my entry-level salary can't give him a restaurant-style dinner at home. I settled for whatever my budget can do. I believe, though that budgeted meals do not mean it's not delicious. 

02 December 2016

What's Christmas Without the Lights?

I remember that one bizarre conversation I had with a friend where we talked about that one disability we fear to have. I forgot hers but mine is to be blind. I fear how I will see nothing but darkness 'till the end of my days. Thank God it's just a thought and not a reality. Well, although I have told my husband that I'd rather have no electricity than no water at home, it's still not true at all. How can I cook if there's no light? How can my daughter, Sophia do her homework if it's dark? What's Christmas without the lights? Isn't it what makes this joyous occasion merry and bright? 


For some families, having no light does not matter. It doesn't dampen their spirits to live their lives. The kids still go to school, the folks continue to work and they still smile despite it all. What matters to them is their togetherness. Isn't it that Joseph and Mary did not care where Jesus will be born as long as they are together? 

18 November 2016

Italian Baked Chicken with Potatoes

You might think that this dish looks and tastes very similar to Chicken Afritada that most Filipino loves cooking in instant tomato sauce. Trust me, it's not. It definitely has that Italian kick to it, not that I know a lot about their cuisine. Thanks to McCormick's Italian seasoning, oregano powder and dried basil leaves. Also, this Italian Baked Chicken used fresh tomatoes. They are small, red and juicy resulting to thick and fruity sauce. Topping it with quick-melting cheese in the last five minutes of its cooking time in the oven has sealed this dish in comforting perfection.


My little foodie, Sophia brought this in school once for lunch and proudly told me she finished it! She even commented that she liked chewing the soft tomatoes. I felt accomplished - cooking something that I just tried for the first time and having the kid finished it. Win-win! So I thought of sharing it with you all, because I believe that sharing is caring. Hehe, bagong-bago.

10 November 2016

Lazada's 11.11 Online Revolution

To be honest, even if I love online shopping, I haven't tried buying anything from Lazada. Well, you can't blame me. I have read so many bad reviews about them that I actually got scared of trying. Lo and behold, I guess the shopping spirits of the universe heard my murmurings (that I need some extra moolah for shopping, lol) - I got invited in the launch of their latest shopping event exactly a week ago! I-try ko daw muna, huwag daw kasi akong judgmental. Heehee.


Anyway, bloggers and members of the press were treated to an afternoon of delish food and awesome finds at Ascott Hotel in BGC. Here are some of what you can expect during the revolution! 

03 November 2016

Tita D at PUP

PUP means Polytechnic University of the Philippines. It is where I finished my college degree some years ago. It is where I found friends, where I first had my heart broken badly, where I realized how emotionally strong I can be. In a nutshell, it might not have the cleanest wash rooms or the classrooms may be too steamy for people, it's still one of my most favorite places in the world. So when a PUP student invited me to talk to them about Internet Etiquette, around the time my #baonserye posts were trending and despite my busy schedule as a work-at-home mompreneur, I prepared for it wholeheartedly. 


At first, I actually didn't know how I'd start my presentation. What do these kids do not know about the Internet? What do I actually want them to always remember once they leave the university? How should I talk to them? Those questions I answered myself after going through the comments on my page. Some youngsters there called me Tita D. That's when I decided my brand will be a millennial aunt educating the new generation about using the interwebs. 

27 October 2016

Make Your Party Fun and Fuss-Free with Joe's Kitchen Delivery

I'm the #baonserye mom, alright. I earn extra by cooking savory sidekicks at Bebeng's Kitchen. And most of the people close to me know that I'm a foodie... But there are times that I choose food deliveries over my own cooking. Why? Well, who won't? When all you need to do is click and choose the food you want to eat. Right? 


My birthday the past month was not an exemption. Sure, I baked vanilla cupcakes with pink buttercream frosting and still cooked some birthday noodles, pork siomai, baked chicken and roasted veggies but it wouldn't have been as special as it was if not for Joe's Kitchen's super delicious dishes.

12 October 2016

Sophia Saves Money With Security Bank

In all honesty, I can't say that I had a truly happy childhood. When I was my daughter's age, all I remember was my father's death that resulted to my mother's financial struggles as a housewife, who was left with nothing. Our hardships caused our family's many heartaches. And personally, though it taught me resilience, I never learned how to save for the rainy days. Whenever someone gave me money then, I always spent it all at once. It's only now that I'm a mom myself that I am learning the ropes of budgeting, spending and saving. 


When Sophia received monetary gifts for her first birthday party and dedication, our original plan was to open a savings account for her. But then, Ondoy happened. Our purple rented house got flooded waist deep. Most of of our stuff got muddy and broken. Unfortunately, we needed to use her money to help us start anew. Fast forward to the many Christmases that she received thousands of money from her godparents; she has used it all up for her needs, which we should have given her. We never saved any, not even a single coin. 

05 October 2016

I Am Raising a Girl Who Practices Two Religions

I grew up in a Born Again Christian family. My mama said that I was two years old when she and our papa started attending a Born Again Christian church in Quezon City. Inevitably, in most Christian families, we went to church together every Sunday. It was where I first learned how to dance. I also memorized some parts of the Holy Bible because of Sunday School. I love being a Christian and I am proud to be one. 

So when I posted this last night, I got a few private messages about it. 

Why does it sound so easy for you? Aren't you afraid she'll choose to be a Catholic in the future? How come a Born Again Christian mom found it adorable when her daughter looked for a purple rosary? 


I'd like to make it simple but please allow me to share with you this story.

21 September 2016

Sophia Turns Seven: McDonald's Winx Club Party

I've been meaning to blog about this few days after the event but like what I said on my status on my page, I found no joy in doing so because of this sad cake story. No worries, I have moved on. I realized that what matters most was we made our birthday girl very happy.


R and I originally wished for an out of the country celebration for Sophia's 7th birthday - a trip to Hongkong Disneyland, specifically. Unfortunately, it all depended on my savings since all of R's salary goes to bills, every day expenses and our girl's school fees. I only had Bebeng's Kitchen then that its earnings weren't enough for the celebration I hoped for. Good thing she chose to have a party with our families and her friends. I think it's the more practical choice that time.

15 September 2016

12 Photos That Prove Kids Have A Mysterious Relationship With Stairs


Sophia with cousins Gabby and Garret in 2014.
Sophia was four when we moved out of my husband's parental house to finally live on our own. The house we rented was a 2-storey apartment. So obviously, it has stairs. I didn't know why but my little girl shrieked in delight when she saw it. Since we moved in then, she spent most of her time at home in the stairs. When I posted one photo from those many moments on my Facebook page three years ago, I was amused that other moms also have photos of their kids in the stairs! 

Does anybody know why?

13 September 2016

Lechon Paksiw na Manok

I was out one time the whole afternoon from a blogging event in Makati that I came home a bit late so I didn't have time to cook for dinner. Hence, I decided to buy one whole lechon manok from Baliwag's (honestly, I prefer Andok's any day; sadly, no stores on my way home). When I arrived, my mother-in-law said they just had Jollibee Chicken Joy! Uh-oh. So I just ate two cuts (I was starving, don't judge) from the whole and stored the rest in the refrigerator. The next day, I cooked the leftovers the best way it should be - paksiw! Yum.


It's so easy! In fact, I kind of realized that it's just notches higher than adobo. 'Di ba? Anyway, here's my recipe, in case you'll have too many lechon manok left. 

10 September 2016

Embutido

Embutido is one of the dishes that I frequently cooked  when R and I were just starting our family. Most home cooks say that this is best for Filipino parties or celebrations. I agree! My mama always has this in her table for Noche Buena or Media Noche. In my opinion, though, this can also be categorized under freezer or make-ahead meals. 


You see, what I did then was to buy a bulk amount of ground pork. I'd make embutido, siomai and lumpiang shanghai for each portion during the weekend. When I'm at work on weekdays, the yaya would just take out a pre-steamed embutido from the freezer and she'd put it on top of the rice while it's still being cooked at its last phase. Yes, habang "ini-inin". Now that I have a gradeschooler, who brings packed lunch to school, I decided to make Embutido again. Not only would it replace her usual canned meatloaf but it's also an addition to my growing episode of #baonserye. ;)

Want to try making it, too? Here's the recipe!

07 September 2016

Sophia's New Travel Buddy

One of my longtime readers *hi, Joy!* recommended this humble space to Anneleen Van Dyck.  I'm so glad she did, to be honest. Leen, as she introduced herself in the email she sent me, told me about this social enterprise that she manages, which helps a group of women from the Visayan Forum Community of Pandacan. It's called Mayown. She teaches them how to make handmade crocheted items. She said, through it, the women can prevent themselves or their kids from going into human trafficking and slavery, as that is still a big problem in these communities. And I - I fully support it! All for girl power and enterprising for a good cause, of course.


Also, this rainbow unicorn is the most adorbs, right? It's well-designed and seamlessly crafted to perfection. The combination of colors is on point, too. Sophia lovingly named it Rainbow Blossom. She brought it once to school on a weekend when we attended a parenting talk about raising kids in the digital age. Felt like it's a bit appropriate. You see, she now plays with real toys instead of my or R's phone. It's been 5 months since we cut her off from using our phones. We don't have local or cable television as well. We only use our TV for movies. Will share more about that on a separate post.

02 September 2016

Look what I got from her ear!

Sophia had cough and colds since last week. I've been giving her the appropriate medications; making sure she's well-rested and all. She's still in her usual chatty self even as of this writing so what could possibly go wrong? Why did we have to go to the hospital yesterday?


It was Tuesday evening, right after we prayed, Sophia suddenly kicked and screamed and cried. Her right ear was hurting, she said. I used my flashlight and checked. When I saw a red dot somewhere down the canal of her ear, I heard my own heart pounding. Nakaka-panic! Thank God He gave me wisdom that night to put some oil to soak whatever was there for a few minutes. Then when the pain subsided after she took a teaspoon of paracetamol, there's this gross goo that peered from her ear. I pulled it out with tweezers.

32 Things / 12

32 Things is a series of fun facts about me; 
to celebrate my 32 years of living, loving and laughing. 


I WAS BULLIED IN HIGHSCHOOL

This is a part of my past that made a big impact to who and what I am today. 

I was in 2nd year, the same year when R and I were classmates, when it happened. It was a Saturday when our class had to meet in school for a project. After the meeting, some girls decided to go to the nearest mall to while away. I tagged along; I thought the girls and I were friends. The Monday after, I saw these girls talking to our guy classmates. They were looking my way. So I asked my guy seatmate about it. He said they were talking about me. I almost choked when I swallowed a lump in my throat that began to ball up. I'm a crybaby now that I'm 32 so imagine a 14-year-old me. 

01 September 2016

32 Things / 11

32 Things is a series of fun facts about me 
as I look forward to celebrating my 32nd birthday on September. 


I'M A CRYBABY.

In fact, even if it's just a viral inspirational video, I let tears freely flow regardless if Sophia or R or other people will see me. I think that completes my being an all-out human. By that, I mean, I embrace whatever emotions I will be having for a certain situation. Say, today is September 1st and I don't think I can finish this series before Sunday. What should I feel? What should I do? Oh well. I have the whole month to blog bout these, right? After all, I don't think someone reads this anyway. If you do, please leave a comment! ♥ 

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

24 August 2016

32 Things / 10

32 Things is a series of fun facts about me 
as I look forward to celebrating my 32nd birthday on September. 



I DON'T EAT MUSSELS.

I started disliking it when my eldest sister dissected a piece in front of me as if it was a Science project. I was around Sophia's age. The results of the dissection (perhaps it was done to really gross me out, ugh) was beyond all the filthy words I can imagine. Since then, I don't eat it. I sipped its soup when I was breastfeeding Sophia, though; other than that, no thanks. I can cook baked cheesy mussels for R That's love, I guess? ♥ 

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

22 August 2016

32 Things / 09

32 Things is a series of fun facts about me 
as I look forward to celebrating my 32nd birthday on September. 


I DON'T READ AND WATCH HARRY POTTER, LOTR, ET AL.

Well, I read the first Harry Potter book and half of the sequel; watched the first movie, too. But you know, I pretty much got tired of it. As for LOTR - never got interested. After all, I was into sappy Danielle Steel novels and funny Bob Ong satires then. Paulo Coehlo, too. Things changed and it's very noticeable in the current books I have that my taste now is varied. It doesn't really have a single theme or genre. To be honest, I do not even have time to sit and read books anymore! So what I just do is read a chapter or a few pages before bedtime or whenever I sit on the throne, hehe. But guess what? I can finish a whole book for Sophia. Sigh, motherhood.

Photo courtesy of Red Hair and Other Colors

17 August 2016

My People Are Those Who Love It When I Sparkle

A Facebook friend shared a photo of an inspiring quote on her wall and boy oh boy, I found myself turning on the computer again. "I have to blog about these thoughts!", I said. So here I am.


Disbelief is the most appropriate term to describe how I feel whenever I'd get so many "likes" on each of my post on the blog's page. Fine, is that too shallow for me to even blog about? Let us put it this way. Why do you even share it on Facebook in the first place when you are not even excited to get "likes", right? It can be different for other bloggers but honesty is one of my best traits so the heck to those who say *aspiring likes on social media is an illness*. It matters to bloggers. That is how you gauge your engagement with your followers. Simply put - no likes mean no connection. In fact, when I notice that a post doesn't get at least a single like, I delete it. And will just post it again to try. But thank God I have a loyal follower in the initials that come in IDP, who never fails to like each of my post on Facebook or Instagram. Luv yah, girl. You know who you are. *winks*

To get to my point, the quote on the photo says - "You will be too much for some people. Those aren't your people." And I was like, "Ohhhhhh, shocks. This is perfect. This is the best thing the internet has ever told me about blogging." 

32 Things / 08

32 Things is a series of fun facts about me 
as I look forward to celebrating my 32nd birthday on September. 


I'M A PINOY SHOWBIZ FAN!

Not that it's a big deal but I noticed that there are some people who are not okay with admitting that they stalk follow a certain local celebrity on Instagram. I mean, come on, what is wrong with that? There's this one person pa who even said that she doesn't know who Bianca Gonzalez is. Seryoso? Fine, you are what you watch and read but really, don't you make little chismis when you're with friends? Well, different strokes for different folks but ako, I go to YouTube to check if ABS-CBN Entertainment uploads new GGV videos. Ang funny kaya ni Vice Ganda, though minsan nakakainis siya. I got hooked with AlDub, too before Alden and Maine met in Tamang Panahon. After that kasi, tinamad na ako to regularly watch them. Maybe because they met na and medyo bitin na sa excitement. I still follow Maine's tweets and IG posts, though. As for Alden - he's gwapo and all but sometimes, nako-cornyhan ako sa hirit ni kuya. I think because I like honest but misunderstood guys over super good boys. Hahaha, ano daw?! Yes, James Reid all the way eh! People think he's walwal and a bad influence to youth for partying too much but enebenmenyen, he works hard to feed his family kaya. Kalma rin minsan sa pag-judge. I even got into battle mode versus the writer who wrote badly about Nadine. That girl kasi eh. You can read my post here if you haven't! 

8 down, 24 more to go. Will I complete this series before September ends? Let's see.

Photo courtesy of Preview Magazine

15 August 2016

32 Things / 07

32 Things is a series of fun facts about me 
as I look forward to celebrating my 32nd birthday on September. 


WHEN IN DOUBT, CALL ME BY MY NAME!

I really appreciate that you are very comfortable in talking to me, my dear readers. To be honest, that is one of my favorite things about my being a blogger. You see, there are a lot of bloggers and digital influencers out there, who people just cannot virtually talk to because you know, they're so popular that they can't reply to every comment that gets published on their blogs. I also like that one of you even said that I'm very *responsive*. I was like, "yes, of course, I'm online so why would I seen-zone you? Right? :)" 

I'm not saying I'm famous and all but having 28 freaking thousand likes (as of this post) on my Facebook page is a huge thing for me (and the blogging industry, actually)! However, the beautiful people who comment and message sometimes call me "sis" or "mommy". In my past and at some point, it was okay with me. I thought it's a norm in the community. Now that it kind of gets overused, though, I have this awkward feeling towards it, especially with "sis". If you have called me that or mommy, it's fine but I would truly appreciate it if you will just call me by my name - Denise. Or D, if you want to be a bit more personal. ♥ 

P.S.
Case is different for my real-life sisters who can call me sis, of course. Hehe.
Glad, too that Sophia's new school now calls the parents Mr. or Mrs.

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom

13 August 2016

32 Things / 06

32 Things is a series of fun facts about me 
as I look forward to celebrating my 32nd birthday on September. 


I'D LOVE TO MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY!

Growing up, I saw my papa lugging with him a Nikon SLR during our family trips out of town or just in the zoo. He's the standard type of dad, who takes photos of his kids. This is why I kind of regret that he's like that. We didn't have a photo together! Well, we have one; I was 3 months old. Great. So now that I'm a parent myself and that my daughter has a soldier for a dad, I always take their photos together. Some have very pose-y shots, most are random. I discovered how much I love photography when I was in gradeschool and we were looking for photos for an article I wrote for the school paper. I borrowed the photo journalist's point and shoot Fuji type and dreamed one day to have one. 

Fast forward to today's generation of phone-tography, anyone can be so good at photography without having to be called a photographer. But I wanted a different stroke for me. I still want proper lessons, proper equipment and the title. Someday, perhaps. The world is my oyster.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

32 Things / 05

32 Things is a series of fun facts about me 
as I look forward to celebrating my 32nd birthday on September. 


BLACK BUT SWEET COFFEE IS MY MORNING POTION!

I love latte and McDonald's Iced Vanilla Coffee is one of my faves but on a regular day, black but sweet is my thing. I remember not having a single Cup A Joe one day; whoa, it was disastrous! Migraine attacks were inevitable and no one can talk to me without taking a peek at death. So I learned my lesson well - no matter what: drink coffee. 

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

10 August 2016

War Against the House Enemies & A Giveaway From Pest Off

You know what they say about raising happy kids and messy homes; that it won't come together all the time as you wish? Well, there is truth to it especially if your family's like us, who do not have anyone to manage the house but us. Now that I have online work, a small biz and this blog to maintain - I hardly have time to fully clean the house! After my shenanigans for my well-received #baonserye episode on my Facebook page, the kitchen area usually looks like a warzone. Seriously. And we all know that those traces of war attract *enemies*, right? By that I mean - house pests that scare the hell out of me. So how do I keep them away without being rushed to the hospital?


1. Making sure that if I choose not to wash the dishes, the edibles or "ngatngat-worthy" are all in the trash bin. It has to be somewhere far from me or I'll freak out to death once I see a fiend crawling on top of the sink. *goosebumps* lol 
2. I have a cat. Have you noticed (in the movies, Instagram, blogs or maybe someone you know) that those who love to cook are those who love the feline family, too? I have no scientific idea about it but it does apply to me. I just feel like keeping my furry baby but I'm also glad that she helps me drive away the unwanted guests at home. 
3. If my cat fails to fulfill her duty, I use products to halt a budding scary pest domination. I have insect repellent sprays for mosquitoes, flies and roaches. We also draw on wall crevices using insecticide chalk to neutralize creepy crawlies. As for Mickey Mouse and his friends, we are armed! Pest Off sent us their best mouse and rat warriors last week and really, it's the best! 

32 Things / 04

32 Things is a series of fun facts about me 
as I look forward to celebrating my 32nd birthday on September. 


DANCING IS ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I CAN DO!

I first learned how to dance in front of an audience when my mama told us to attend dance ministry meetings in our church. Perhaps, that's her way of taking our minds from thinking about our papa, who passed away that year. I was 8 years old and very shy - a shadow of my two older sisters. My eldest sister was a graceful teenager while my other sister can dance albeit her awkward moves. She's tall and lanky so I know she didn't look that awesome, haha. Initially, I just wanted to watch them and sulk in my non-appearing self-esteem. There's this girl named Ging-Ging, who's the same age as me and so good already! Our mentor, Ate Mae, talked to me. I remembered that she even included me in her closing prayer on our first day of meeting. The next meeting, she brought in tambourines! I was excited to use it. I have always admired the tambourine dancers in our church. They looked like angels clad in white silk dresses with colorful ribbons attached to their tambourines. I held one and tried my best to follow the steps. When I saw the reassuring nod of Ate Mae, I felt the rush of confidence ran through the veins of my body. Ging-Ging and I were the youngest members of the dance ministry and were always in front, as if leading the group. I always looked forward to our Saturday rehearsals for our Sunday service. At a young age, dancing for the glory of God was my greatest achievement.

Things changed in our family when we moved in to where my maternal grandmother lived. I was turning 11 and was an adjusting tweener. My mama transferred me to a public school here in Marikina. I had a hard time fitting in especially on the first few weeks. There were mean girls in our class! They can't accept that I automatically was put in section 1. Eventually, I became part of the school paper and learned how to dance ballroom (I think that's a public school thing hehe). Come highschool, my clique and I always danced to hits of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Solid Harmonie and Spice Girls. So I brought what I learned from all those in college. My friends and I even chose Modern Jazz as our PE elective. We choreographed a dance number for our finals to the tune of Rhythm of the Night! It had complete kabaklaan and all, haha. 

I miss dancing so much that I silly-danced with Sophia this afternoon. And guess what? I recorded a part of it and uploaded it on Youtube. Seeing my not-so fit self dance is an eye-opener. I need to lose some weight! Also, we looked crazy but what the heck, those are memories Sophia and I will surely laughed on when she's all grown up. Wanna see it? Sorry, I can't show it anymore. 😁

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

08 August 2016

32 Things / 03

32 Things is a series of fun facts about me; 
to celebrate my 32 years of living, loving and laughing.


I DREAD DISHWASHING - UGH!

I still do it, of course; no one will if I won't, unless my husband is home. But if possible, I'd skip that part in my life as a homecook. You see, the kitchen is my sanctuary! It has the most stuff in this house. My close friends and family know me as the chikadora who cooks. Well, you might have learned about me as the mom who shares her #baonserye episodes on Facebook. Everything about me revolves around food. My online jobs as a Social Media Manager are all depending on food brands and blogs. I sell savory sidekicks and tasty treats over at Bebeng's Kitchen. And this blog received its highest number of views to date because of my daughter's packed food for school! Hello, #baonserye! For the life of me, though, dishwashing is one of my house manager duties that I dread most. 

That is why when dishwashing liquid brands like Droplets of Nature, Joy and Cusina sent me their products for me try, it made me so happy, haha! They kinda helped me *survive* the tough domestic job that is pag-uurong.

***
Photo courtesy of Unsplash

05 August 2016

32 Things / 02

32 Things is a series of fun facts about me 
as I look forward to celebrating my 32nd birthday on September. 


PIZZA IS LIFE!

Fine. Food is my bestfriend but among all that I can cook and eat, pizza stands out from the rest. I don't eat it all the time as I do with rice but it's my most favorite. Like, ever. You see, it's a complete meal. Yes, that go-grow-glow thingy suits pizza best, right? And it's so convenient to eat, too! No need for kubyertos. Well, not if you're maarte that you need fork and knife pa. 

I love pizza but I'm not a choosy pizza-consumer. Sometimes, I'm okay with 3M or Krizza or whatever kanto pizza out there. There are also times that I want Sbarro, Italliani's, Yellow Cab or Project Pie. On a regular day, though, I have Greenwich or Pizza Hut to call. 

***
Photo courtesy of Magalic

04 August 2016

32 Things / 01

I'll be celebrating my 32nd birthday exactly a month from now. So last night, I thought maybe I'd share here 32 fun facts about me that you (especially my new readers) might want to know. Game?


I LOVE VIDEOKE!

It was in 2009 when Sophia and I went to Surigao, where R was first assigned. For 13 days of no TV and internet, I almost went bonkers. Thank God, the families living inside the camp have videoke machines at home. They charged P1-2 per song. So imagine how I went concert-crazy with my P20! I sang my default pieces: Sway by Bic Runga, It's Raining Men by Geri Halliwell and some Aegis hits. As always, I never end my videoke sesh without Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive!

If money is not an issue, I'd definitely buy the latest Magic Sing right now. 

***
Photo courtesy of Sweet Water

29 July 2016

How I Make Worklife Easier

When people learn that I don't leave home to work in an office, they automatically think that I'm so lucky - that I'm a spoiled wife just waiting for my husband's bimonthly salary. What most of them are probably not aware of is that I have home-based jobs, a small food business and a blog to maintain. I also do not have help to clean the house, do the laundry and wash the dishes. Being a military wife, it is my main duty to almost single-handedly raise our daughter. If that is not enough *work*, then I do not know what it's called. 


In one of my contributed articles for well-renowned lifestyle website, Make It Blissful, I shared the 4 Ways to Lighten Your Workload (And Feel Great About It!). It's basically to prioritize, exercise, maximize and smize. Yes, alliteration is my thing, if you noticed that. I do those all the time, even exercise! My flabby tummy just doesn't make it look truthful. LOL.

So this time, I want to share with you the 4 four things I do that make my worklife easier. My worklife means my job as a work-at-home bloggy mompreneur.

26 July 2016

The Underacting Parenting

In my Moved Up, Moved Out post, I told the main reason why R and I decided to put Sophia to where she is studying now. It has been almost a month since she started her new school year and the changes in her young and innocent life were truly evident. So how is she doing? Has it also affected me as a parent?


Aside from how she easily wakes up at 4:30 in the morning to how she fixes herself on her own in a breeze, I can't help but think that my girl won't need me eventually. You see, I don't bring her to school anymore; she takes the school bus along with 15 other girls. She also follows this after-school to-do list to help her remain focused the entire school week. Raising my only girl almost single-handedly is not an easy feat. In fact, I just had my most agonizing week the past two weeks as a parent. We were doing fine but I can't help not to worry; she's obviously having a hard time with all the adjustments. She needs routine but she's an artist, who needs to do things on her pace. So there were days when I have nothing for her but commands in high-pitched voice. I hated myself. I don't like to be that kind of mom; that's not how I want her to see me.

We fought and argued but managed to end it peacefully. After apologies and promises, I asked her what she feels whenever I get mad. In her matured but sweet tone, she said, "I get hurt. And sometimes when I get hurt, I'm thinking if I were like other kids, would you still be mad at me?" *pausing now to wipe my tears* The lump in my throat that balled while she was talking had finally burst into a heavy-on-the-verge-of-ugly-crying sigh. I couldn't said a word. I just caressed her soft, black hair and hugged her tight. 

20 July 2016

Free Printable Finds

With all the many hats that a mom has to wear, she must always organize and plan things ahead in order to accomplish the tasks as she wanted it to be. It can be planned at least a day ahead, sometimes a week before; months even if necessary. I know some moms who can peacefully manage her household without a journal or to-do list, at least; I am an exemption. I need a handful of post-its and a decent pinboard beside my office desk so I will be reminded of what I need to do. But post-its can be a bit boring albeit its loud colors - my penmanship makes it as such, perhaps.


I'm glad that there are creative bloggers who are so generous to share their digital art skills with us here in the cyberworld! Planning my #baonserye is now easier with Living Locurto's Lunch Box Planner. I write what I can prepare for Sophia there then I list down the items needed to make it in Hello Cuteness' Grocery List. Here are the other free printables that can help you organize your tasks (and maybe your life, as well, haha).

12 July 2016

#RayalaTravels

R, Sophia and I are like most families who always look forward to traveling together. My girl first rode a plane at 15 months when I didn't have a camera phone yet so there were no documented photos. It was a crazy trip - flight was a day delayed and my baby vomitted her milk during take-off. Yikes! But having to spent the holidays with our soldier daddy for 13 days in the farflung province that is Surigao del Sur, the crazy things that happened were worth it. What we are looking forward to now is to travel by plane altogether. Prayerfully, it will happen soon.


This year, last summer, we had a 3-day semi-planned vacation up north. It was exciting as it was the first time that we have been to a new place we've never been before. Sure, it was also our first time to see Potipot in Zambales and Hundred Islands in Pangasinan but we went there while we were at R's workplace. You know, it was just due to a spur-of-the-moment, itchy feeling to swim on the beach. But as for our long drive to Ilocos, I booked us a really nice hotel via Deal Grocer a month ahead. We also researched (aka read blogs) on where we should frolic and grab some grub. Just like in all the travels we did, I enjoyed taking photos! I then posted a few on Instagram and later found myself creating a hashtag that would collate all the travel photos so we can easily go back to it for posterity and nostalgia. The hashtag was called #RayalaTravels - by obvious reasons, haha.

04 July 2016

Kris Aquino's Advice to Moms


I am not a fan of hers. Some people said I'm like her when this blog was called Bebengisms. Not sure if it was because I was featuring too many products here. Or was it because I was too full of myself then? I don't know about you but despite the many intrigues and controversies she has put herself into, she's an amazing media personality. Well, on TV. Hindi ko siya keri on the big screen eh. She's a good host kahit minsan hindi na niya pinagsaalita ang mga ini-interview niya but acting isn't for her, imho.

So, netizens were abuzz when photos of her in the GMA Network studio circulated around in the interwebs. Ayun nga, she guested on Yan Ang Morning, Marian Rivera's morning show on GMA 7 last week, July 1. Kibitzers said it was to make the rival network's show feel bad about themselves as it looked like they replaced Kris. It was just sabi-sabi. Kris said that she promised her "inaanak sa kasal", Marian that she would guest on her show once she's back from her vacation. 

And she kept her promise. 


01 July 2016

Exciting Things Ahead


Today is the first day of the second half of the year. Isn't it amazing how quickly time flew? So, what do we have here? We got changes. The Philippines has a new president! My girl is in a new school! And to make this post a bit egocentrically silly - this blog's initials share the same with the new president's! Cool, right? LOL. Mai-relate lang. Tbh, I didn't campaign for him but since he was the people's choice... well, congratulations! I have read his simple but meaningful speech yesterday. It was good. Kudos to his team for putting up a decent inauguration. Let us hope for the best! After all, his win is our win. 

Now, off to more personal stuff.

23 June 2016

A Fun Family Day at Ruby Spa

Whenever my husband is home (for those new here, he's in the military) and there are no scheduled activities for our family to do, we while away our weekend evening with going to our favorite spa. Sometimes, we leave the girl to his mom so we can have each other to ourselves. Or when we have extra budget, we bring the girl with us that pampering and relaxation become a family affair. We're very clingy like that.


We are loyal to one spa for more than two years now but we also try the new ones when we feel adventurous. Or when we haven't booked early, hehe. So we feel happy we were given a chance to try the services at Ruby Spa. I also invited my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, her husband and her kids. Well, it wasn't relaxing to have three kids with us but we had fun albeit their kakulitan, haha!

17 June 2016

Father's Day Videos


I like that with the advent of social media, Facebook most especially, we can celebrate Fathers' Day with touching videos. Alam mo na, palagi na lang tayong mga mommies ang mas special, mas magaling, mas busy at mas commendable in the parenting department. Here in our humble kingdom, though, it's my husband who gets the royal treatment from our daughter. Eh kasi minsan lang silang magkita. So habang ako ang default niyang basurahan, cook, fashion consultant at entertainer, it is her father who rules her world. Minsan nagseselos ako, hehe. But ang totoo niyan, natutuwa ako because I strongly believe that a girl who has a good relationship with her father will be an amazing woman when she grows up! Kaya ngayon na malapit na ang Fathers' Day, marami na tayong makikitang videos on Facebook that show what real good fatherhood is.

Here are some of what I've watched with my girl.

07 June 2016

Moved Up, Moved Out

My girl will be starting her 2nd grade in another school this month. In my That Terrifying Mommy Moment post, I shared the security issue of her past school that sealed my and R's decision to move her out from there.


As for the core reason why, here's the gist. 

Some time in November, Sophia came home with a marken pen stain on her PE shirt's left side. She said a boy classmate stabbed it on her when she got the pen holder from him. According to the teacher and my girl, it was time to pack it away but since the boy was still using the pens, he stabbed the one he was holding to her chest that left a blue stain. I managed to removed the stain with my laundry skillzzz but you know, I think I will never forget the pain it caused me. The incident blew up into something worse when I posted the photo in my personal Facebook account. I didn't know who told the principal about it but I was friends with some of the teachers then so maybe they told her. When the principal called me for a meeting, I thought that she was about to secure me that my daughter is safe in her school or that she has talked to the parents of the boy and that they were willing to apologize in the boy's behalf and all. I was wrong. In the middle of our emotional conversation, I felt like a kid reprimanded by my mom for posting something hideous on my Facebook account. Yes, I know it was wrong to put it out there but for me, she could have not delve on that because that was not the issue. 

03 June 2016

Nicandro

Living near the foodie capital of this city surely has perks. It was one tiring day after our weekend errand for Bebeng's Kitchen when we had dinner at Nicandro Lutong Bahay in Lilac Street. There are many restaurants in the area that we still have to try but it was one of those days that we were craving for, well, lutong bahay.


Then I remembered that I saw my cousin's post on Facebook that they ate there. I asked him if food's good and he said the kare-kare is a must-try.

31 May 2016

R and I

As what Toni of Wifely Steps advised me, I am reposting this lengthy caption here that I first posted on Instagram, my personal Facebook account and page of this blog. Here it goes.


"Medyo mahaba ito but I have a confession kasi. We don't like each other that much the past months or maybe years, R and I. Yes, we love each other. Yes, we are very married and I think we are our girl's "relationship goal". But you know, there are times na gusto lang namin pikunin ang isa't-isa. Minsan sadya, minsan hindi. Hehe. It's given in any marriage, in any relationship - ang mapikon sa partner. There were times (many times, I tell ya) na ayoko na, na ayaw na rin niya... eh kasi nakakapagod na nga. Pero eto pa rin kami oh! Kasi nga, wala, we can't live without each other! 

12 May 2016

The Sad Cake Story

Before I write about our Ilocos trip last weekend (I posted some photos on Instagram and Facebook), let me share this with you first as I saw this sitting in my drafts folder. Of all the four stored there, this resonated with me the most. Maybe if I will share this story with you all, I can finally move on from the sad experience. Just like how I told that terrifying mommy moment the past month, I will try my best not to make this sound like a rant.



July 20, 2015

I told the cake supplier about my plan of getting her service for my daughter's 7th birthday on September. I have helped several mompreneurs in launching their home-based businesses through this blog so I thought of doing the same thing with her. I offered her a blog post and a banner ad on my sidebar in exchange of 50% off on a 2-layer cake (the first layer is made of styro covered with fondant) and 60 pieces of cupcakes. I thought it was a good deal.

The main reason why I got her even if there are better cake suppliers out there was that she is the mom of my girl's bestfriend. 


05 May 2016

4th Impact Obsessed!


I'm a late bloomer when it comes to music news here and abroad. I only start to appreciate *popular stuff* when the hype has calmed down. True enough, I only started watching 4th Impact videos on YouTube when they already ended their X-Factor UK journey last year.

Of course, I started with their audition piece. I felt like I'm their eldest sister as I watch them make the snob Simon Cowell stood up from his seat to applause!

28 April 2016

Galaxy Freeze


After we had our savory hotdog sandwiches for Sophia's 7th birthday dinner at Mad Mustard, we craved for something cold and sweet so we looked for ice cream parlors within the city but found none. There was one outside Marikina, though and glad it was still open when we arrived. Galaxy Freeze is located in front of SM Masinag so it's practically near our home. I personally like how the store looks. It's very Shaider! You know, that moment when he's with Annie and will say, "time space warp ngayon din!" LOL. The name of their ice cream variants sound cool (pun intended), too! Say - you want some Inertia Treats or Jupiter Rises?

22 April 2016

Rayala Dialogues: Epic Gas Release


The election fever has made a lot of netizens pour out their emotions and brain cells in their Facebook walls. There were some who just unfriended their friends because they have different choices. My friends and I do, too. My college bestfriend, for one, is a staunch supporter of Mayor Duterte. But we don't fight (yet, hehe) because we respect each other and we value our friendship more than our political opinions. We respect each other by not talking about it, by not making patol to each other's posts. However, I have to be honest - I have unfriended a few people whose posts are just unbelievably stupid. I don't have personal connections with them so I don't regret it. 

When we arrived here at R's workplace last Sunday, I kind of felt that I needed to take a break from sharing news articles and my opinions about the election online. I have to focus on what truly gives me joy - time with my family and eating together (hello, fatso). There are times when I still comment on others' politics oriented posts, though. Hard habit to break, I know. 

After R's office work, we made chismis about all the crazy stuff we saw online. That's our usual language of affection - social media sharing, lol. And so the inevitable happens. We caught one inside joke that we keep on saying whenever we feel like it fits the bill. Say, I just made an epic gas release (no thanks to eating too much) and this is what happened ---

21 April 2016

That Terrifying Mommy Moment

This narrative is lengthy. I hope you are prepared for this. Grab your popcorn if you feel like it. 

It was the day Courageous Caitie passed away when it happened. Almost all the people in my Facebook feed were grieving, mourning and were left inspired by her story. Her parents' loss became other people's source of hope. I thought, God must have given that kind of trial to Caitie's parents because He knows they can handle it gracefully, faithfully.

SOURCE

It was a different story for another mom, though, who tried to keep her poise but failed. She arrived in her daughter's school to pick her up and learned that she was not there. No one knew where she went. It's inevitable for that mom to be worried. In fact, I asked my Facebook friends - What do you think will be your reaction when you find out your kid was not where you left her? 6 out of 7 respondents said they will panic, will feel nervous and jokingly said will do a Sisa scene. 

That mom was me - I panicked, got really nervous, and almost did a Sisa scene.

"Anong klaseng eskwelahan kayo at hindi niyo alam kung nasaan ang estudyante niyo?"

"Pusa nga kapag nawala hinahanap, anak pa kaya?"
"Don't tell me to calm down."

I was a bit aware of my actions that I can still manage to sit and pray but it was one of the moments that I really cannot control my emotions. 

So what really happened?

20 April 2016

Eternal Sunshine by Daniela Andrade x Dabin


Philippine politics plus social media is like putting lemon in a fresh wound. It's insanely painful. I personally had my share of insanity on my personal Facebook account! Can't resist not to give opinions, you know. I felt the need to do so because that's the only way I can help my countrymen - to inform and to educate, to open their minds to other perspectives (my pov). Whatever passion it is, there are risks in doing. I know that I caused a lot of eyes rolling from my Facebook friends. Some people who used to like me may have killed me in their minds. It's funny to even think about it but I realized that no matter what I say (or post), the candidates, sadly, do not even care about it. So I'd rather focus on what truly makes me happy - my family.

10 April 2016

Mad Mustard


It was my girl's exact 7th birthday when we chose Mad Mustard to be her simple birthday dinner venue. She had a McDonald's party with our family and some friends the weekend before so we opted for something more casual; not that McDonald's is grand. Well, hotdog's one of the birthday girl's favorites, too so we're glad we found a cool hotdog joint nearby!