31 December 2015

No Clever Title: An Occasional Blogger's Year-End Post

Flowing; let it flow. That's what I'll just do with my thoughts here. I want to try harder and write my best as this is my farewell post for this year but the more I plan it, the less I feel about its need. Can we proceed? I have no idea how to do a proper segue now.

This site has given me so much joy and satisfaction. This site made me meet people I won't get to even say hi online. This site tested my character. This site validated my worth at some point. This site has been the extension of what I am and currently doing. If I had been hooked to hosting giveaways, it's because I love what I was doing. If for some I've been a looter and freeloader, it's because I found it fun. If I had been to every event, regardless if it has no relation to my brand, it's because I didn't know then that I shouldn't be doing that. 

After three years, I now know what I want to do with my online life.

In all honesty, I don't care anymore if I don't get invited to events or I don't receive packages after packages of products. It's not too important for me if I won't have sky-rocketing hits from readers. The end-all and be-all of this blog is my happiness. I believe that if I'm happy, the people who'd get to read my posts or see my photos will be influenced with whatever emotion I was conveying. 

So with that, I sincerely thank you if you are reading this. That means, you care for me and my happiness and not just what I can give you. If it's just 50 or 30 or 10 of you who visit my blog whenever I have a new post up, I am grateful for all of you. That means, I still matter. That means, people still read me. It sounds like I'm a hipster or something but it's not in the number of followers, right? Oh well, not if you really wanna be famous and do this professionally. 

Like I said, I'll just let it flow. And right now, nothing's flowing no more. Bye for now.

It's 2016 in a few hours. Happy new year to all of us! xx

*Photo by Unsplash

05 December 2015

Currently | 02

Hello! I just got a day off from doing my hefty holiday orders over at Bebeng's Kitchen. I gladly welcomed the rest from dealing with jars galore, garlic, chili, vinegar or shrimp paste. I still didn't literally take a rest, though. I have online work (like right now) and I fixed the kitchen earlier. The girl also has serious school issues that made my and R's head ached badly. My meeting with the school principal didn't turn out well. No sane mother will allow her baby girl to be erred by an aggressive classmate, who keeps on picking on her. More so, to be judged for her sensitive and innocent heart. I felt that she was trying to justify the kid's erring ways.

Anyway, due to lack of latest posts here, I am doing my second randomness of my Currently series. Currently is a blog link-up initiated by Siddathornton. I have been seeing it done by the younger bloggers (ya, not the mom ones) but I only convinced myself to do it when I read this year's current it girl, Maine Mendoza, wrote her own series. Influenced by local showbiz's current it girl, yes. Here was my first. And now, indulge me to bore you with my segregated ramblings below. 


THINKING. A lot. It's a mess to get into my brain right now but here are some: My daughter's classmate's behavior. The kid is obviously bullying my child. My kind and brave mini-me came home the other day with a blue marker stain on her shirt! She told me her classmate intentionally blotched it on; it was the same kid who also threw her sharpener just because he felt like it. Someday, as a bullied person myself, I'll share with you all what I've done as a mom to help my child cope with frustrations and anxiety as a result of her classmate's super un-cute antics. I guess, when all sorries have been said. Also, my and R's 5th wedding anniversary is in my thoughts. We'll be attending a wedding on that date so I don't know how we'll be celebrating it with just the two of us.  
CELEBRATING. Speaking of celebrations, I was on a high when our new Samsung with Digital Inverter Technology refrigerator arrived! It's so beautiful. It's dark gray with black accent. It matches my black and stainless La Germania oven. Sweet.  
BUSY WITH. I have a total of 520 jars of my savory sidekicks to cook (have already cooked 1/3 of the number) that I sell over at Bebeng's Kitchen. I'll also bake 42 dozens of oat cookies. Whew. The numbers are overwhelming but it's a happy problem so bring it on, foodies. 
PLAYING. Inside Out Thought Bubbles, y'all! My husband told me to install it. Little did I know, he's now on 100+ level. Kainez. 
READING. Aside from the requests and messages sent our way through the brand I'm working for's Facebook page, online articles about Senator Grace Poe's disqualification and Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's electionovela (see what I did there?) were keeping me intellectually stimulated and politically entertained. I don't like that Davao guy. Sorry, not sorry. And I also learned about how elephant families are. Hence, this post's hero photo. I think we're like an elephant family. Not sure, though if my husband will agree that the females in the family are the boss. Hehe.
CRAVING FOR. Taho. So badly.
ANNOUNCING. The winners of my recent giveaway. It's on the previous post so if you joined, go and check if you won! 

Hey, care to give my Facebook page a like before this year ends as Christmas present? Will ya? Mwah! 

*Photo from Unsplash

27 October 2015

When We Watched Disney Live

A day after my birthday was like a kick-off to my girl's 7th last month. The morning was spent at Art in Island with some of my fellow mommy bloggers and their kids. It was sunny and the wind was a bit cool. The weather was so good for a weekend bonding day with my little BFF. And I thought that that day was perfect, nothing could ruin it. But no, it rained so hard in the late afternoon when we were watching Inside Out at the Gateway Platinum Cinema. It didn't dishearten me, though. After all, we were bound to watch Disney Live at the Kia Theatre. It was just across the mall. No big deal.

I was wrong.

I forgot to bring an umbrella. The lady at the Ticketnet office, named Joanne, failed to render quality customer service. The loot bag from the previous event was super heavy. My daughter was starting to be hangry (hungry and angry, not a typo). And I... I almost melted into humidity. I wanted to scream and punch the face of that bad ticketing lady. I wanted to cry. I wanted to just go home. But when I saw my girl's eyes brimming with excitement, somehow clouded with worry because of what's happening to me, I tried my best to gather my thoughts and become her hero.

I sweet-talked (aka begged) two girls with an umbrella to help my daughter cross the street, while I got soaked under the freezing rain. It was not the wisest idea but it was my last resort. When we got to the ticketing office of Kia Theater, the people there did not have the idea about my free tickets from Mommy Bloggers Philippines. After a call to MBP's Lani (thanks so much dearie) and 30 minutes of waiting, my little lady love and I got in the theater.

Kia Theater is the former New Frontier Theater. It's practically new so it [still] looks really good. The a/c was cool enough and there were no unwanted smell from the carpet (well, compared to some theaters I've been to) but I just didn't like how the chairs were set up. The man in front of us was too tall that we needed to transfer seats just so we can see Mickey and friends. Well, it was not that a big problem because my girl truly enjoyed the concert. In fact, I enjoyed it, too! I got so kilig when Aladdin and Princess Jasmin sang A Whole New World. Le sigh.

Indeed, the obstacles and sweaty armpits that we experienced prior the show were all worth it. Seeing the smile on my daughter's face and hearing her shrieking in delight were the wind to my cape. Thank you, Mommy Bloggers Philippines and Araneta Center for making it happen! I was happy being my baby's hero that day... well, except when she started wondering where Daisy Duck was. Do you know?

19 October 2015

A Dose of Daniela

It was a breezy morning here at the side of my world. The girl doesn't have classes due to Typhoon Lando. We weren't snarling at each other, not in a hurry. We had pancakes and hot chocolate for breakfast, her ultimate pick-me-uppers. She was still in her pyjamas (but at some point was a vampire using my black shawl) and doodled her time away while she waited for my work to finish. My last three hours weren't that good. The couch, which is just a few meters away from my table, was calling my aching back and shoulders. Oh, how I wanted to give in to that craving. But you know, I'm okay with my work. It pays okay so I had to feel okay about it. Okay = not so bad, not so great. Anyway, while I was swamped and drowning with the kind of job that I have, I didn't allow it to leave a painful emotional scar on my being. I did all my best to do it the Royal Domesticity way: I played some Daniela Andrade on Spotify. And poof! I'm automatically more than okay. Here's what I had on loop for four times. She's just making me emotionally confused right now, haha. Please watch it and let me know how you felt after.

To watch her covers and more, subscribe on her YouTube channel. ♥

13 October 2015

Please Remind Me To / 01

In this modern world of one-liner pseudo-wisdom and exchange of ideas, when you can't see who you're talking to in person, and it just feels so good to fight back with angst-ridden remarks – that's when the enemy strikes and you forget that your God will be sad and that there are words that you can't take back anymore. It happened to me last night. And while I basically know what I am doing and I think I did a pretty good job in not "making a scene" virtually, I still regret that I allowed it to happen. I thought that I have the choice to pursue what is lovely and make it blissful (yes, I just hafta use it). It's not too late to do it, though. Maybe for some, it's satisfying [to fight back] but having to do it online is a lose-lose situation; especially if you are doing it against someone who somehow makes it as her bread and butter.

So my dear friends, who care for me and love me, please remind me to:

- always choose my battles wisely. I am no longer fifteen who craves for attention and wants validation from complete strangers. At 31, I should know my worth, my value and best if it comes from me and no one else. Also, a status or tweet is not a guarantee of anyone's maturity. 
- ignore and shun away bad thoughts when I see an annoying post. What may be annoying for me may be cool for others and I may be annoying for some, too. Instead of mentally raising my middle finger to that person, why not use the index finger by sliding the page up. Let it go, really. 
- live my life outside my online sanctuary. While being active on social media plays a vital role in a millennial mom's online experience, still, the best kind of life happens beyond the likes and comments from people who don't smell your fart. Don't cook food just for #bebengcooks hashtag on Instagram, do it for the girl and R. Don't go to places just so I can check-in, just go. Don't prettify for selfie but for yourself. 
- blog about the bad things that happened only if I have already got through it. Blogging may be a personal thing and that it stands as an extension of your real life but it will be memories that will be unfolded in the future. I don't want to be reminded of the silly things I said online when I'm already old and gray and so much wiser. Or when the girl starts to have access to the internet. The horror. 
- never forget that I am a Christian. Enough said.

What else do you think should I be reminded of?

07 October 2015

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, everyday 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.

No Clever Title: An Opinion About Heneral Luna

I was supposed to fold the freshly-laundered clothes. This home-based, servantless working mama was supposed to finish cleaning up the kitchen. I was supposed to sleep because I still have work tomorrow (that's later). But here I am. I was resting my aching shoulders and back when I was on Twitter and saw this. It's a photo of Jim Paredes' news article. While I like that man's articulation and music artistry, I don't agree with everything he wrote there. Well, life's like that. Everyone can't agree on everything at the same time. But at least it ignited that fire that wanted to burn in my heart. Kalma lang, hindi ito kasing-lalim ng inaakala mo. Hindi mo ako kasing-talino. :p

Obviously, based on the title, this is about how the movie Heneral Luna affected me. 

The original Mr. Suave. // source

I love the movie! I can watch it over and over again. It's amazing how Director Jerrold Tarog can make history so funny. *Hello Captain Rusca! You want some ensaymada? Ibili kita sa Mylene's! Hihi.* And how puñeta can sound so - well - cool. It's art. The film is artistic -- cinematography, pacing, musical score, editing, the actors' blocking and all, the works -- the best! No matter how some said they already know their history kaya they don't need to watch it na and that it's hype lang daw. Come on, minsan lang tayo magkakaroon ng ganitong klase ng pelikula. If I should pay a thousand pesos just to watch it, ayos lang, promise. Kasi ang ganda! In fact, I was surprised when I knew that it was Php280 only (in the super sikip and hindi mabango na Robinson's MetroEast cinema house). 50% discount pa yung mga students. I assume that you know how the producers wanted to make the film (and the two other installments, hopefully) for whatever advocacy they have. But mehn, hanga ako sa passion (at yaman, hehe) nila to believe in this kind of movie at ipalabas sa klase ng mga manonood na meron tayo. Ano nga bang klase ng manonood meron ang 'Pinas? 

O sige, hanggang dun na lang muna ako. I'm not a movie critic. I enjoy Kalyeserye eh so I might not be intellectual enough for you. *winks* Let's just talk about why I am here, farting my thoughts away. 

After the movie, on the way home, my husband and I still can't believe that Heneral Luna was thaaaaat good. But honestly, I was not like most of the people on my feed na nagalit, bumigat ang loob at nawalan ng pag-asa sa Pilipinas. Siguro, dahil matagal ko ng alam yun? O tinanggap ko agad yun? I guess, I am a man that way. Yung madaling maka-move on, har har. When I married my military husband, our situation opened my myopic eyes to the chaotic country that I missed to see because what I knew was not the whole story. You see, I graduated college at Polytechnic University of the Philippines. Aware naman siguro kayo na highly opinionated ang mga estudyante dito? Nakakalungkot isipin, maraming magulang ang ayaw pag-aralin ang mga anak nila dito dahil sa katotohanan na yan. Hindi ko tuloy alam kung malulungkot ako para sa mga bata na hindi mabibigyan ng kalayaan na makapagsalita dahil sa magulang na meron sila o maaawa ako sa mga magulang na iyon kasi mamamatay silang may takot sa dibdib na harapin ang katotohanan. Medyo malalim na ba? Sorry, it's 1:30am here at the side of my world.

Let's go back.

I didn't feel bad, I was not in pain. I felt no burden after I watched the film. I just told R of my personal theory why I think war happens, why peace is elusive in this country. Oo, ang kapal ng mukha ko to blog about it. If you agreed, stop here. Hindi na kita binibigyan ng karapatan na basahin ito. Hindi lang din tayo magkakaintindihan. Thank you.

04 October 2015

Art in Island

Here are some of the photos that I took last month at Art in Island in Cubao, Quezon City when Jolly Cow Milk invited us to a Mommy and Kids Day Out with fellow mommy bloggers and their kids. We were treated to a tour inside the biggest 3D museum in Asia then had lunch at Burgoo Restaurant before we got to snooze watch Inside Out at the Gateway Platinum Cinema.

Here are some points to remember, based on my observation, should you want to go there with your family:

  • Although there really are no age requirement, I think that it's better to bring the bigger kids with you. This museum is best for those who can already act out in front of the camera for more than a few times until the photographer (that's you, mom) gets the perfect shot.  
  • Obviously, bring a camera. Fully-charged. And a whole lot better if it's point and shoot, not just camera phone. I tried taking some on my smartphone and turned out that results are better in my Samsung ST66. So much better, I suppose, if it's a DSLR. 
  • The museum's Facebook page advised the goers to bring socks and jacket, too. Yes, you don't want to end up having super dirty feet after the tour. As for the jacket, if you are a mom who has a kid to run after, jacket's unnecessary. Pinawisan ako kaka-instruct sa bagets na pumosing, haha! But yeah, bring one for your kid. 
  • Before you start taking photos, notice the markings on the floor first so you will get the perfect angle. I only noticed it in the middle of our journey na! So sayang yung ibang shots. 
  • There's a restaurant at the end of the tour. Food and drinks aren't allowed inside so you'll really get thirsty and hungry afterwards. 
  • Most importantly, enjoy and have fun! Don't get frustrated if your kid doesn't want to pose. Pray hard na lang (hehe) that she will be in her best mood when you arrive at the place.  

To spend a day with my little artist doing an activity that we both love to do (art appreciation and posing for the camera, haha) is something I will always treasure as her mom and bff. Thank you so much, Jolly Cow and our friends behind it, for spoiling us with such activities and creamylicious treats. I hope you'll invite us again on your next event! ♥

P.S. For Art in Island's ticket prizes and schedule information, it's on their Facebook page.


From the press kit: Jolly Cow offers both creamy UHT Fresh Milk and Non-Fat Milk (also known as skim milk) and is sourced from Germany's biggest dairy farm. It is among the first brands developed by Fly Ace Corporation as the company began its venture into building its own brands in 1997. Jolly Cow variants include Jolly Cow Fresh Milk and Jolly Cow Non-Fat Milk which are available in 1L and 200ml, and Jolly Cow Condensada. To learn more about Jolly Cow, visit http://www.facebook.com/jollycowPH

30 September 2015

The Sad Cake Story

More than a week after the incident, I'm finally ready to share this story with all of you. Maybe if I will share this here can finally move on from the sad experience. Just like how I said in that terrifying mommy moment, 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. 

Currently | 01

If you are keen to details, you may have noticed that the blog's look and color have changed. I'm also back to Twitter. Oh, you should follow me! I'm on #AlDub high most of the time. LOL. Clearly, there is an intention to do what I used to do — mainstream blogging and all that jazz. But this time, it's gonna be simpler: I'll bleed thoughts, edit it, and when it's published, I'll share it on Facebook. I might join comment exchange occasionally but I'll make sure it's not gonna eat me and my time like it used to. Sorry if my blog isn't inspiring or helpful or informative. No more series of giveaways, too. I just really wanna keep blogging because I love it. It matters to me. 

Do I matter to you to read this nonsense? I hope. 

OK. Enough of the melodramatics. I'm 31 and I write as if my first puberty hair just popped out yesterday. *rolls eyes* Anyway, let's get down to business.


READING. Tweets of AlDub hashtags. What a loser. Uhh, I just bought a book last month and I still haven't finished started it. Let's see if I can read a page or two, at least, before I sleep. I won't promise.  
LISTENING. Daniela Andrade's covers are ahhhmazing. La Vie En Rose is my favorite. 
THINKING. Espasol. Food again, yes. Secondary would be my girl's school field trip next week. I don't want to go but she has to so I will. Wth, motherhood.  
WATCHING. I got my first pay from my Community Manager job while the husband's home this past weekend. Coincidentally, a really great Filipino movie was shown (still showing, as of this writing) in cinemas. We watched Heneral Luna. I will write my thoughts on the impact of its message to me, soon. In the meantime, you can read my three-points-to-convince-you-to-watch-if-you-havent here. Puñeta! Ang ganda, ang galing. On a daily basis, it's Kalyeserye and Clark and Leah. Yes, mababaw ako. So whut?  
EATING. Fat, I'm getting fat. As much as I hate to see people allowing themselves to be swallowed by their fatness, that's what's happening to me. I don't have enough sleep (9-hour shift at work, house chores all by myself, I'm a mom,) so I resort to eating. I know, I know. It's a lame excuse. But can you blame me? Inihaw na bangus and ginisang munggo with tinapa are to die for.  
HAPPY ABOUT. I work full-time in my ratty, comfy pambahay and I can have my coffee any time I want to. Most of all, there's no need to travel for hours just to be stuck in traffic. Hence, the hero photo from Unsplash.  
WEARING. Maxi dresses are lurve. Something that's comfy to wear at home but decent enough to be worn when running errands. There's also been a silent agreement between me and my getting-older-self to choose black or white or anything basic. Again — I.am.getting.fat.  
LEARNING. My new job as a Community Manager of a multinational food and beverage brand. It made me think of going back to school, take my Masters and eventually teach Communication Trends and Breakthroughs. I got a badass 1.0 on that subject.  
WRITING: This blog post, obviously. I'm also drafting (for the nth time) my contribution for Make it Blissful. The reason why I can't finish it is still a mystery. *crickets, crickets*  
LOVING. My girl's surprising kisses when I'm busy at work. Or my girl calling me from the gate when she arrived from school. Or my girl's cuteness when I tuck her into bed. I love my girl.  
LOOKING FORWARD TO. Pray with me that I'd be able to get a helper soon so I can still do my kusinera duties at Bebeng's Kitchen. I'll be taking Christmas orders as early as next week but I need to present a holiday package to many of those who inquired about it. I need help from a help. 

So there, how about you? What have you been up to lately, currently? If you want to do this thing, too, I hope you'll link it back to me and comment your post so I can check it out.

*Photo from Unsplash

21 September 2015

ALDub It

So Ms. Daphne Paez wrote about the AlDub fever (read it first then come back here, will ya?) and I just have to agree with everything she said, including those from the commenters of the post. I mean, come on, so if you call yourself a person with substance or class just because you don't watch noontime shows or the segment where the ALDub couple is, what do you call Mrs. Paez then? 

This has nothing to do with your profession, nothing to do with how much you have in your bank account, nothing to do with the size of your brain. AlDub and the kalyeserye segment are purely for entertainment. Some said it's inspiring. What, with Lola Nidora and her sisters' words of wisdom, one can surely get a quotable quote that can be her "life goal". Yes, it can teach its viewers a thing or two about life, love and the young generation's way of courtship, but for me, it's my source of entertainment. It's the most fun and entertaining segment created in the history of noontime TV. 

I love laughing. 

I love watching shows that are meant to make people laugh. I love seeing people, who have natural talent in releasing punchlines perfectly, laugh at each other. The Kalyeserye segment of Eat Bulaga has all of it. They can keep me laughing, kilig and entertained for like 30 minutes or so. 30 minutes of not thinking of sleep deprivation, work, housework, business, and my daughter's school tuition among others. My favorite is Lola Tidora, how Alden looks at Maine (sorry, I'm such a romantic), their fansigns, and TVJ's reactions. And then I'd go back to whatever I was doing before that when the segment ends. Okay, I'll read tweets. I sometimes tweet, too. This phenomenon is crazy and I'm glad I can be a part of it by tweeting my brain farts. 

Alright, this millennial mom needs her 4 hours of sleep. I'll see the dabarkads later. Follow me on Twitter, if you want: @deniserayala

One of my secret dreams when I was younger was to play any musical instrument (I can play basic guitar) in front of my crush. Maine Mendoza played drums and Alden saw it with his mesmerized eyes. #somuchfeels

16 September 2015

What can I say?

In the days that I want blogging to be a normal thing, to include it in the routine of my daily beautiful mess, that's when I feel like I am slooooowly dragging myself away from the space I have loved too much one time. Why are there bloggers who can find time to write about their new lipstick or latest gadget and I can't even sit here to bleed nonsense thoughts? Que sera sera. Just like the hottest split-screen love team on TV, my blogging is at its best when it's not forced. And words aren't number-conscious. 

So today, after my shift at work in my comfy house dress (yes, I am now a certified work-at-home mama), I decided to jot in here a few of what I currently think or maybe the nothingness caused by cups of coffee and glasses of cola. Well, I'll be finishing my girl's invites for her classmates and teachers before I can finally doze of for 3 hours. The little miss will be having a simple gathering this weekend for her 7th birthday. I can't wait to share what I have prepared. It isn't as lavish as other girls' 7th birthday parties but I am sure, in my heart, my sassy songstress will love it. Just like how I always hoped it could be, the husband is home to help me with my wahm changes and party preps. 

So far, so cool. 

I might be saying hi to you all here more regularly. Say, something about why I like James Reid and Nadine Lustre? And perhaps, I can tell you a little about my learnings as I turned 31 this month. 

Alright, friends. Until I feel the urge again. (why does it have to sound that way?)

15 August 2015

Pure and Sure Water For A Healthy Family

We are a family with sensitive digestive system – R, the girl and I. It was not so long ago when the girl had amoebiasis, which R and I experienced, too. It was crazy. Endless trip to the loo is, right? Although water was not the culprit why the girl and I had it, I still make sure that the water we drink is safe and pure, even if that means I need to spend more. There are numerous water refilling stations that sprouted everywhere like stray grass but only a few can be really trusted. My MIL encountered one that has rust in their water. Imagine, I allowed my then toddler daughter to drink that! It's unforgivable, I know. Good thing nothing bad happened to her.

So I was grateful that this blog was invited when Manila Water Total Solutions launched Healthy Family Purified Water on August 7 at Annabel's Tomas Morato. I knew so much about water. They told us that Healthy Family is the same water that comes out from our faucets, only purer and safer. Why so? The whole process of bottling it were done hands-free. And you might be asking why don't we just drink the water that comes from our faucet if it's just the same? Well, it's because some pipes are already old and rusty that even if Manila Water provides water that is safe enough to drink, it still gets contaminated. Thus, the creation of Healthy Family. 

06 August 2015

Checking In

The hiatus was intentional. I was not missing at all, I'm still in the circulation. I may have taken a rest from this space but I was all over the messy, happy place that is the cosmic universe. I've been throwing photos taken from this city all the way to my one thousand plus Instagram followers. I've been cooking simple meals at home and sharing its recipes with my followers on Facebook. I pin for sanity or for the girl's upcoming party. Lastly, Twitter has absorbed all the unnecessary one-liner randomness I can think at the moment. Mostly showbiz stuff, not biggie controversies. I know I bid goodbye to the blue bird some months ago but you know, I kinda miss it. Yes, the bird. So I tweet my stupidities when I'm bored. It's not an avenue to showcase intellect, after all. 

I'm not sure how many of my past Bebengisms readers are still here. Just want to say hi and that I miss you. I miss this. I miss us. Whoa, it's like we got into a long romantic relationship that didn't end well! Ugh, too much teleserye. Pangako *coughs* Sa'yo. LOL. Seriously, whenever I'm here, although I know I won't see your reactions, I feel like I have thrown my thoughts in a big box of party where there are people waiting for me; for whatever I have to say. Or so I hope. 

I was daydreaming one day and decided that this blog will be full of stories. No whys, no reasons. 

If there's one thing that makes me crave for this blog more is that I have the freedom to write what I want to write. I can still go and have sponsored posts here (like that of Lysol) but the brands and collaborators are fully aware that my readers will hear my voice and not someone else.

I'd like everyone to know that I am happier now because I am blogging in my terms. 

Indeed, when you stay true to your purpose, whatever it is that you do (in this argument, this blog), blessings, the kind that is rightfully yours, will naturally come your way. It can be gifts from sponsors that you timingly need or a partnership that can put food on the table. But the best blessing I have received because of sticking to my guts was love. 

I felt more love when I promised to be genuine in every thing I say or do -- more love for myself that was forgotten at some point years back, married kind of love from my husband, sweet love from my baby girl, and understanding love from the people who accept me for who I am.
It is love that makes this ordinary blog extraordinary.

26 June 2015

Chicken and Banana Stew

Some gutsy souls have asked what I do all day as a stay-at-home momma. Well, for those who still wonder, just please stop, haha! Well, look at my healthy and happy child as an evidence of "my work". And I think you already know that one of the not-so secrets to successfully raising a healthy and happy child is feeding her with quality food. Yup, not junkies.

Heads up, it can be tricky. Sometimes, there are parents who only think of vegetables as healthy. And that vegetables can make their kids "fat". What? What's up with that? Fat doesn't mean healthy, right? 

12 June 2015

Learning Through Play with Ogalala World

Three years ago, I decided to send my daughter to a Progressive School. In my judgment as her primary caregiver, I believed that she'd learn more without the concrete structure and routine that most traditional schools offer. Any four-year-old learns best through play. And she did, with flying and sparkling rainbow colors. Now, she'll be a first grader on Monday, in the same school. She can now read a bit, has a good handwriting and is overly excited to learn. "It's fun, 'Nay", that's what she always says. In the deepest corner of my competitive heart, I want her to be on top, I want her to be best in everything. But my mommy heart pounds for something else. I just really want her to have fun and enjoy her daily life as a student. After all, my parenting goal has always been to raise a healthy and happy kid. 

So when Ogalala World invited us to attend a bloggers workshop cum playdate, I nonchalantly said yes. You see, I decided to go to blogging/media events only if it will help me enrich my life as a woman, wife and mom. And my decision was right. 

05 June 2015

Revisited the Academy

We attended the wedding of our friend last month, which was held at St. Ignatius Chapel inside the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City. Before the rehearsals, we got to walk around the place that was once home for my husband and his mistah for four years. The "Pamantasang Malapit sa Airport", as joked by many graduates and cadets, is one awesome venue for photography and Instagram. Although I am an IG addict myself, I only managed to post one; didn't want to waste our precious time posting our every move, hehe. It's a rather important keepsake since anyone's visit to the academy will not be complete without having a touristy photo in front of the Melchor Hall. So it's still special and also, I took several snapshots in this particular spot. It's practically new so the two Cpt Rs and their brats (term for PMA graduates' kids) had fun posing. And oh, jumpshots and more craziness from my darlings, too! It's really one of my life's greatest pleasures to see them having fun. 

02 June 2015

Lysol To Go: Perfect for Moms on the Go!

Long before motherhood happened to me, I have already been used to packing a lot of things whenever I leave the house. I don't want the feeling of needing something and not having it on my bag. Like what I said in this post, my husband thought I was insinuating to run away with him when I packed a week's worth bag for our 3-day trip to Baguio, haha! It was crazy, I know, but I'm glad I didn't end up buying clothes or anything that I forgot to bring. 

And now that I'm now a mom to an amazing girly girl with an energy of four rowdy boys, I can't always bring a big bag of my regular everything because #backache. In almost 7 years of learning the ropes of child-rearing, I have realized that I only need to make my little miss healthy and happy. Everything else will surely follow.

30 May 2015

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

I've been following a few mom bloggers abroad. And if you are a regular reader of mine, you know that I love this amazing mom from New York City behind Mommy Shorts. Her name is Ilana Wiles. Remember her Evil Baby Glare Off last year? My daughter got in top 6! Anyway, her level of creativity makes me want to be her. As in, when I grow up I want to be Ilana, haha! Of course, I'm kidding. I'm just one of her league of fans. So Ilana posted a photo of this book on her Instagram (kudos to me for finding it amidst her 2,412 posts) and wrote about it on her spectacular site. This fanatic got curious, as always when she posts new stuff. I told myself I'd get one for my girl.

2014 ended just like that and I never got the book for my little bedtime reader. 

Fast forward to one serendipitous day that Amazon put it on a 4-dollar sale. Yay! I thought I can get it and use the remaining money on my PayPal. But then, just before I put it in my cart, I realized the shipping fee will kill my joy eventually. I still didn't give up, though. In the middle of what seemed to be a deep contemplation on how to get one, a message popped on my Facebook. It was from my Florida-based friend who got married this month. She was asking me about the gown as I was one of her secondary sponsors. My friend happened to be my daughter's godmom so I sweet-talked her in buying it for me her godchild. Tee-hee.

Problem solved. 

27 May 2015

Selective Sharenting, Please


I was already a mom when R opened our joint Facebook account. He did it for Farmville. Well, games and our big boys; it's inevitable. Eventually, he opened his own account and I took over the old one. Over the past six years of using it, I regretfully committed cyber sins — I ranted as if I didn't have a friend, spilled out a lot of controversial family issues and shared around a thousand photos of randomness of my little girl. The latter, in all honesty, can cause a dose of eyes rolling from some single humans in my friends' list. In fact, in 2013, The Wall Street Journal coined a term, called sharenting, to emphasize exactly what most parents do in their social media accounts nowadays.

Sharenting is used to describe the overuse of social media by parents who share content based on their children. It is related to the concept of "too much information".

20 May 2015

Different Times, Same Love

We have a different kind of relationship, my mom and I. One day, we can be the best chismisan partners, the next day, we'll ignore each other. In fact, as of writing this, we haven't talked for almost a month already. I assume that she has not talked to her mom, too; our Lola Mommy. As for me and my 6-year-old, so far, we are best buddies. However, despite the silence between us, I know that she loves me, I know that she cares.

Perhaps, she's just waiting for me to get in touch first. It's Mama's nature to be ma-pride and mataray, haha. So when Pia and I saw the new commercial of Nido Fortified, we were both broken by our emotions. After watching it, we literally said "awww" and she said that the grandma there was like her Lola, my mom. True. Mama can be stern and square whenever Pia gets kulit but she never fails to recognize that her only granddaughter is generally a sweet, amazing girl. 

08 May 2015

Midyear Prologue

Some of you might be wondering why this blog, of a once giveaway guru slash bekimama, has been directed to this plain and ordinary digital compilation of stories. Change happens, it exists; and I am more than glad it did here in my simple cyberhome.

You all knew Bebengisms as my kingdom here in the internet. At some point, I was called Queen B by some of my readers, who I used to call as my royalties. I find and felt nothing wrong with these labels. Like I said in my about me, I am a self-professed domestic queen. It's funny, though that some thought that I was feeling high and mighty upon calling myself as such; when in fact, it meant that I am a modern Cinderella in my own house. I rule here but I'm also a slave. It just happened that I love playing with words, labels even. So one day, I decided to brand myself as that. 

Now, after doing so, many of my virtual audience believed in it that they actually etched in their minds a Martha Stewart prosthetic on my face. I refuted that myth by showing how our royal dwelling usually looks like. Far from the pristine, minimalist houses you see on Pinterest, you began to realize that I live an ordinary life like anybody else. I felt that I am no longer the puny-brained blogger behind the wordy entries, I started to think that I became a friend to anyone who reads my blog.

04 May 2015

A Beautiful, Painful Change

I'll make this short and sweet. 

As much as I want to regularly be here, on Facebook and Instagram, I need to welcome a few changes in my life as a self-professed domestic queen that might will put my social media activities on hold. Temporarily, okay? It was just this night that I thought long and hard about this. The THIS, I shall tell you about real soon. Forget all the negativism that you think about the word painful. Isn't it that giving birth is painful and beautiful at the same time? OK, before you think that it's pregnancy that I'm talking about. No. 

So there, I have a few posts that I hope to go live in a few days but I can't make promises anymore. Let's just wait and see where this change will take me. I hope whatever happens, I still have you all. xx

26 April 2015

Goodbye, preschool!

I have something to tell you. My system has not fully absorbed the fact yet that was slapped in my face a month ago — my only child is no longer a preschooler. On June, she'll go to class most probably on the 2nd week, along with the rest of the elementary students. Can we say that again? Elementary. 

Sigh. I just can't really make her slow down, eh? 

13 April 2015

Pink in Marikina

Ilana, the genius behind Mommy Shorts' Instagram account @pinkinnyc (and @insta2yearold) has recently invited her followers to do their own versions of playing "I spy pink" in their own cities. I got inspired to do the same here in our little clean and green valley and thus, using the hashtag #pinkinmarikina. So Pia and I went out last Saturday (going out is a big deal for us because of this unbelievable heat) to bike and to also get the contact number of the swimming school she'll be enrolling at real soon.

12 April 2015

Easter Egg Painting at Jollibee

So the Easter Sunday happened and unlike most families in my social media accounts, we were (and as of this writing, still are) incomplete. R was at work and it's just Sophia and I, as always. 

Days before that, I was killing time at a Jollibee branch nearby while my girl was at school rehearsing for graduation when one of the crew came to me and told me about the Jollibee Kids Club (JKC) activity for Easter Sunday.

Like the Cool Kids

R and I are into Spotify. I Spotify when I cook or clean. He Spotifies when he drives. OK, I used the proper noun as a verb. English teachers, this is my blog. Shoo! Anyway, because of Spotify, we discovered a few new songs that these kids (naks, feeling matured and all grown up na talaga) are listening. Eh siyempre, medyo stuck ako kay Kitchie Nadal at Imago. Sige, let's include Solid Harmonie na din. LOL. Thanks to Spotify, I knew about Echosmith's Cool Kids. So nice this song ha. Super LSS-worthy. And uhm, napapamove ako ng slight. What do the kids now call it ba? Yung dance a la Valkyrie, yung ganern? Well, in fact, Pia knows the chorus and she even sang it to her Ninang V on Viber. 

09 April 2015

Raising a Girl

So I posted a link to a YouTube video of a Kai Honasan song on my Facebook page and captioned it with some motherly statements. I then used a hashtag for emphasis, for added oomph. The day went normal for me and my girl - screen time like there's no tomorrow (sorry, too hot to go out), ate together like always and baked cookies for her afternoon activity. Then I posted a photo of her scooping a cookie dough and putting it carefully on the cookie sheet, in top view no less, and used the same hashtag.

The hashtag was #raisingagirl.

05 April 2015

A Soldier's Family at Enchanted Kingdom

After a heavy breakfast at Rowena’s, we travelled straight to Philippines’ happiest place — Enchanted Kingdom! Woohoo! Can you picture out the bouncing little brave girl shrieking in delight at the backseat of the car? She kept on asking us “are we there yet?” like on every stop, haha!

We finally arrived on our destination a little before 12noon but a few excited families have already began to pile up at the entrance. My guts told me that most were from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and R thought so, too. You see, it was November last year when EK announced that all AFP personnel can enter for free until October 31st of 2015. I believed that it was in celebration of AFP’s 79th founding anniversary. Wait, there’s more (in a sales pitch tone, of course)! Their dependents can enjoy 50% discount and up to 5 companions can slash off 25% on the ticket price. Isn’t that such a great news? Don’t forget to bring your dependent’s IDs (yours and your children’s) for validation. Yup, mistresses and illegal wives will still pay full, heehee.

Anyway, I have a confession.

HydraInfusion Jet Peel Date with the Hubster

If you're new to this humble cyber kingdom, I am married to a Philippine Army officer. That means, we rarely see each other. He's deployed somewhere out there and can only come home once in a while. With that said, we rarely go out on dates, too. Heads up, though, dates mean to me as doing things together without the kid and not just dining on a swanky restaurant. 

Alright, now here's the kwento. So he was home few weeks ago and his blogger wife was luckily invited again for a facial treatment at Aesthetic Institute of the Philippines in Greenhills. Remember that I experienced RevLite in 2013? Since then, my face craved for its much-deserved pampering. Double luck, too 'cause the hubster also got to try the treatment! So yes, it was like a facial date of sorts. 

24 March 2015

Birthday Breakfast at Rowena's

For R's 30th birthday last month, we went out of town. It was a fun-filled day for this military family of three! Off we went to Enchanted Kingdom in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and enjoyed the perks EK gave the Armed Forces of the Philippines, dubbed as Enchanting Kawal (yup, kwento and photos on a separate post).

Since we planned to maximize the day, we left the house early in the morning and had breakfast in Tagaytay, 'cause EK opens at 12 noon. It was our first time to go to Tagaytay as a family so R and I really wanted to give our little girl a memorable experience. Okay, not really. We just wanted to eat right away. Our little boss gets grumpy as hell when starved. Who won't? In fact, Miss Minchin clouded my entirety for 10 good minutes. Anyway, failed to go to an underground (aka, not Josephine's, not Bag of Beans, not Sonya's Garden) café and restaurant, we opted for a sikat and known and empty (at that time) resto and pasalubong house — Rowena's!

19 March 2015

It's Been 10 Days

I'm sure you noticed the long gap in between my posts lately. I have no excuse for that and I want to be honest with you, it was all intentional. I love my little virtual space here and really, it's like there's a missing piece in my daily existence when I don't do anything blog-related but I've been obsessed with my life outside my digital world since this year started. Yup, sharing bits and snippets of how I see my everyday is entertaining (for me and my followers, at least) but there's this wisp of satisfaction for the moments I kept to myself. Privately savoring the inside jokes, dreams, and conversations with the people close to me while being a blogger slash social-media-fanatic-who's-expected-to-post-on-a-regular-basis gives me that extraordinary feeling. 

BUT. Trust me when I say that I'll be sharing stories... eventually, gradually. I love storytelling! It can be as lengthy as a term paper or as short as photo captions (of course, with photos) or simply videos from my YouTube channel. In whatever way, I will do my best to entertain, inform or inspire you. Some of my topics may sound like I'm gossiping (or marketing when it's a sponsored post, hehe), perhaps because of the issues and events involved, but like any other blogger that I religiously read, that's how I am. 

Alright, since it's been 10 days, you just might want to catch up on my whatevers on Instagram and Facebook. Those are basically like teasers of what I'll be writing about. Forgive me, though if I won't or forget to post about some certain topics. I do great scheduling now that I have a corkboard in my blogging nook but you know, I still prioritize this self-proclaimed domestic queen's priorities. 

Just like that, after three paragraphs, I'm already saying goodbye. Let's see, hopefully, I'll be back again tomorrow for another post. For now, you may see my royal domesticity on Instagram: @deniserayala. Latest is a crazy soldier in a video! I love that guy. Ttyl, royalties. xx