Of Siblings and Happy Meals

We rarely buy the complete set of featured toy’s at McDonald’s.

This June 2017, the fastfood giant has the adorable Agnes and the Minions as toys in every Happy Meal since the sequel of Despicable Me will be shown in cinemas this month. We have seen the first two movies including its offshoot Minions movie. But, my son loves the first Despicable Me movie the most, as keeps on asking me to play it every single day.

When his Dad asked him which toy he wants from the selection of this month’s Happy Meal, he asked for the Agnes toy. His Dad, surprised, asked him again which toy he wants. Our boy just repeated his previous answered. The following night when his Dad came home from work and gave him his requested toy, he thanked me and his Dad before opening it. When it was out of the package, he looked at my preggy tummy, held out Agnes and said, “For baby!” I was touched by the thoughtfulness of my four-year old! He opted to get a toy first for his baby sister even when she wouldn’t actually see her big brother‘s gift yet until September. I was amazed and a bit surprised at his gesture. For four years of not having to share his Happy Meal toys (at least when playing at home), he suddenly thought of giving first to his sibling who is yet to be born, before having his own toy. I pray that he will continue to be generous to his sister and his sister would be the same to him as well as they grow up.

In the days the followed, my husband kept on having Happy Meals for lunch so he can bring home the Minions toys. Last Saturday when we went out, each of us ordered a Happy Meal for merienda just so we can get three Despicable Me 3 toys. Check out our first ever video about toys below.

Here are all the Despicable Me 3 Toys that we got from McDonald’s Happy Meals.

Despicable Me 3 Toys - McDonald's Happy Meal

 

Soon We’ll Be Four!

A couple of hours before, I consumed orange juice and had a chocolate chip cookie smoothie in the hopes of waking up the baby in time for the ultrasound. None of these tips worked as the baby seem to be sound asleep inside my womb. But, GOD knows what we need when we need it.

God knows what we need when we need it

When we all entered the ultrasound room in time for the congenital anomaly scan (CAS), my firstborn got so excited and giddy because we are going to see baby on screen again. We have confirmed that the baby is indeed asleep as there was no movement, but the OB-Sono was able to identify and measure some of baby’s body parts. As she tells us which part of baby is being shown on screen, my little boy was in awe and got all the more excited and kept saying “That’s baby baby!” The doctor ran her instrument on the part of baby’s legs and we all found out that we are having a baby girl. I told my son who was standing next to my bed, “You have a baby sister!” He then happily repeated, “Baby sister!”

Our baby finally woke up, probably because she heard her big brother‘s voice that was full of excitement even if he was just seeing her in black and white from the machine’s monitor. She might have sensed her Kuya’s happiness to see her from a vision of Mommy’s womb. Our baby girl positioned herself to show her face, as if to say Hi to us, and her whole body, which made us sure that she is indeed a girl. She opened and closed one of her hands while facing us (or the instrument of the machine, at least) and with one hand, held one of her feet for a time.

At the end of the scan, the doctor reported that our baby girl is in good health and has complete body parts and organs. When we were all by ourselves, my husband and I, together with our firstborn, thanked GOD for keeping our baby in excellent health, growth and development. We thanked Him for my good health as well. We continue to pray for a healthy and normal delivery (I was CS on my first) and baby’s overall good health.

Soon we’ll be a family of four  :)  I know that it would be challenging to be a mom  to two kids under four (a preschooler and a newborn) but I feel so blessed to be chosen by GOD to be the mother of these  precious little ones.

 

Doña Elena Olive Oil and US Master Chef Season 8

Chef Gordon Ramsay has been famous for a long time already but I have only got to see his cooking videos late last year. I see him as an excellent chef in that he makes whipping up sumptuous dishes as if anybody can do that in their own homes. He also shares useful kitchen hacks that will make food preparation easier and enjoyable for anyone.

Chef Gordon is best known for his undeniably strong presence in the US Master Chef. This long-running televised cooking competition is now on its 8th season and will soon be aired on Philippine television in partnership of Doña Elena Olive Oil. Learn more about it on the press release below.

Doña Elena Brings Master Chef Season in the PH

PRESS RELEASE

Doña Elena Olive Oil brings Philippine airing of US Master Chef Season 8 on Star World

Chefs, home cooks, and foodies now have something more to look forward to as the all-new season of US Master Chef surprises viewers with a feast of flavors that are both inspiring and entertaining.

Over the course of its newest season that premieres on June 8 at 8 PM on Star World, US Master Chef Season 8 promises to showcase hilariously yummy dishes, and a mix of new breed of personalities who can potentially change the culinary scene, one recipe at a time. To intensify the excitement, James Beard award winner and Mexican-American Chef Aaron Sanchez joins acclaimed pastry chef Christina Tosi, and main host and celebrity-chef Gordon Ramsay as judges.

“I haven’t wanted something professionally this bad in a long time,” says Sanchez while also sharing that this project is a dream come true.

As the season’s major sponsor, Doña Elena Olive Oil will be airing great-tasting healthy recipe ideas in between commercial gaps. From dipping, sautéing, to frying, Doña Elena Olive Oil unearths all-new feast of healthy meal ideas that any foodie will love.

The consistent no. 1 olive oil brand in the Philippines, Doña Elena Olive Oil contains 80 percent monounsaturated oleic acids better known as good fats and is naturally rich in A, K, and E vitamins that help lower bad cholesterol. Olive oil does not only provide health benefits but also elevates the taste of any dish to a whole new level.

Don’t miss Master Chef’s latest season and be an expert in your own kitchen with Doña Elena Olive Oil tips in the show. The Mediterranean inspiration that’s evident in each bottle of Doña Elena Olive Oil depicts exceptional quality and premium taste, an assurance that it won’t fail you and your taste buds in your everyday cooking!
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Fly Ace Corporation is one of the leading food and beverage consumer goods companies in the country today. Propelling limitless multiple-category growth by bringing the best of the world closer to Filipino consumers, Fly Ace Corporation’s portfolio of food and beverage products includes house brands and exclusively distributed brands. To learn more about Fly Ace, visit www.flyacecorp.com.

Doña Elena Olive Oil is exclusively distributed by Fly Ace Corporation in the Philippines. It is the consistent no. 1 Olive Oil brand according to A.C. Nielsen. Available in three (3) variants, extra virgin, pure and pomace which comes in 250 ml, 500 ml, 1 L glass bottles and 5L PET bottle sizes. For more tips, recipes, and promos visit @donaelenacuisineraclub on Facebook and Instagram.

Ogalala: Helping Parents and Kids to Thrive and Inspire

It was a privilege to have witnessed the #Kidspirations launch at Ayala Malls The 30th in Meralco Avenue, Pasig City last April 29, 2017.

Be_Kidspirations-Logo

Since we’re not that familiar in the area, we arrived at the event a bit late than my target schedule. As soon as I have registered, I went inside to take pictures. I didn’t know that my husband and son followed me inside. When I turned around, my husband was already shopping for shoes for our little boy at the shoe sale just a few steps away from the Kidspiration entrance. My husband is really like that – quick to spot a great find for our son. When I joined them, I saw that it was indeed a great one. It was a pair of navy blue, Chicco loafers that are made of synthetic leather. It was on sale for only Php499 and it was the last pair. It’s bigger by half an inch but we took it anyway since our son’s feet gets bigger in a few months.

Ogalala Kidspirations - All Products Flash Sale

Next stop was the All Products Flash Sale kiosk. It was filled with toys and art supplies that kids of all ages will surely love. It was my son’s turn to shop! As he went around the kiosk, he peruse the items within his reach. At last, he found something that he really, really like.

Ogalala Kidspirations - Ice Age to Go by GeoWorld

He took it and told me, “I want it. Open?” I told him that we have to pay for it first. He’s been holding that toy as we go around the different shelves to check out the other items. He looked so determined in having that toy. I asked him if he really like it. He answered in a loud “Yes!” I asked him if the are plenty of toys inside the plastic dome. He said yes again and pointed at the illustrations in the label. This kid sure knows how to justify his purchase! I looked at its orange tag (Php400) and the original price tag (Php599). Not bad, Php199 off. My husband agreed and told me to buy it too.

Ogalala Kidspiration - Elle Onesies at 90% off

On our way to the cashier, we spotted the ELLE Onesies which were being sold at 90% off! That deal was so hard to resist. Good quality and brightly colored onesies for infants and toddlers which were being sold at Php100 each that day. We are not yet sure about the gender of our next baby so we bought a red onesie fit for 0-6 months old and a blue one that our baby can wear when he/she turns 6-12 months old. We actually wanted to get the white one but it was no longer available on the size that we need.

Ogalala Kidspirations - Shopping Haul
Clockwise: Chicco loafers, Ice Age to Go, and the ELLE onesies. That’s my son in the background, playing with his new Ice Age to Go.

After we finished our shopping, we decided to have lunch first then go back to the Kidspirations event after to watch the ELLE Kids Fashion Show. Whenever we eat out, we would usually take out the iPad to entertain our son and for all of us to eat well. But because my son was so excited to play with his new toy, he completely forgot about the iPad and asked permission to open his little package. He was delighted to find 6 Ice Age animals inside and couldn’t wait to play with them. The set also comes with 2 plastic rocks, a paper play mat, and 6 name cards that give more information about each of the Ice Age animals. This play set might look boring to some but my son definitely enjoyed playing with it. One more good thing about Ice Age to Go is that my son learned about those animals while he was playing with them. Talk about learning through play! We learned about the scientific names of those creatures as well as their age, dimension, the era through which they exist, and a bit of trivia about them. My son used his imagination and creativity to play with his new toys. He made them walk through the ice pictured on the mat, hid them inside the plastic glacier cover, and asked us to help him match the cards with the animals. This continued up until we got home. We even came up with other games and stories that involved this Ice Age to Go set.

Going back to the Kidspirations event…

I only had a few minutes to browse on the other items on display just before the fashion show started. There are so many Crayola art supplies to choose from.

Ogalala Kidspiration - Crayola - Php50 Deals
Crayola’s Php 50 deals: Washable Glue Sticks, 10-pc Modelling Clay Sticks, and 8-pc crayons

There was the Crayola Pick Your Pack promo where you can choose any color of the Crayola crayons that you like. For only Php99.75, you get to have 24pcs of the crayons that you fancy and include those that do not normally appear in the usual pack. Anybody heard of the colors Wisteria, Purple Mountains Majesty, and Wild Blue Yonder? These are only a few of the uniquely named Crayola crayons in that vast selection.

Ogalala Kidspiration - Crayola - Pick Your Pack
Crayola’s Pick Your Pack Promo. Get 24 crayons of your choice for only Php99.75

Ogalala Kidspiration - Crayola's Color Wonder - Minions

Crayola’s Color Wonder pack featuring the adorable Minions. The big pack has 18 coloring pages and comes with Mesa Free Markers (Php250). The small pack has 80 mini coloring pages and 6 washable mini markers (Php200).

There were plenty of toys for older kids that were on sale, too.

Nestle Bear Brand Yogu Milk Drink20170505_101712

 

Ogalala Kidspiration - The Purple Cow - Magnetic Chess and Magnetic Magic Word
The Purple Cow’s Magnetic Chess and Magnetic Magic Word are the prefect travel companions even grown-ups would love. Ideal for kids ages 4 and up.

The afternoon program started as the day’s emcee, Mommy Kristine, welcomed the audience and introduced Ms. Maye Yao Co Say to give us a background of the Ogalala brand.

Ogalala Kidspiration - Mommy Kristine - Event Host

Ms. Maye Yao Co Say, the COO of Ogalala World, gave us a background of how the Ogalala brand was developed and how it intends to help parents and kids to thrive and inspire others.

Ogalala Kidspirations - COO - Maye Yao Co Say
Ogalala COO, Ms. Maye Yao Co Say

Ogalala has created the System in PLAY and CARE in order to help parents identify the milestones in their children’s life stages and adapt to their learning method and care needs. The system is backed by extensive research and advice from child development experts which makes it adaptable regardless of our parenting style.

On the other hand, Kidspirations is an advocacy spearheaded by Ogalala which aims to help parents raise happy, fulfilled, and purposeful children. This advocacy also encourages kids to inspire other kids.

From the Advertorial:

What is the #Kidspirations Parade?

“Let Inspirations be part of our personal goal, part of our own milestones. Be something and be someone. Be a kid with a purpose, Be #kidspirations to yourself and to others.”
That is the main motive of the parade to showcase #kidspiration stories to promote ideals and aspirations of parents and expectant mothers.
Sharing both parents’ and kids’ aspirations through their #kidspiration stories realizes the Goal of Ogalala for children to have a happy, fulfilled and purposeful future.
This parade is a small step which Ogalala hopes can lead to a bigger leap for parents and children to be #kidspirations.

As a parent, I see the Ogalala System in Play and Care as a big help in choosing what’s best for my preschooler and my soon-to-be-born baby. With the myriad of options that the market has in store for us, we sometimes second guess on what will be really useful and worth our money. With Ogalala, we are confident that we will be buying educational toys, baby products and kids’ fashion items that were carefully curated to suit our children’s needs.

After Ms Yao Co Say’s very informative presentation was the fashion show. It was a preview of ELLE Kids Spring/Summer Collection that includes the new and exciting designs inspired by the Parisian Lifestyle. Children of all ages walked confidently on the ramp to showcase the latest in ELLE Kids clothing line. The show ended after selected kids from the audience were also given the opportunity to walk the ramp, introduced themselves and shared what they want to be when they grow up. Truly a #Kidspirations moment for the kids that day!

Ogalala Kidspiration - Elle Kids Spring Collection - Boys

Ogalala Kidspiration - Elle Kids Spring Collection - Girls

The Ogalala #Kidspirations event was made possible in partnership with Crayola, Melissa & Doug, EMCO, Animal Planet, The Learning Journey, Discovery Kids, Pigeon, Safety1st, Ergo Baby, Quinny & Maxi Cosi, and, ELLE Kids.

Ogalala Stores:
Ogalala Store 2nd floor Shangrila West Wing
Ogalala Baby 2nd floor Shangrila Mall, Main Wing
Ogalala Store 2nd floor Ayala Malls The 30th Meralco

Shop online @ Oga-lala.com
Lazada.com.ph/Ogalala

Ogalala Hotline: 441-1717 / 990-5437

The Roadmap to a Fulfilled Life


A Proverbs 31 woman. A thriving homeschooler. A successful blogger, writer and social media expert.

How do I know if these are really my calling? Does God want me to be any of these? Honestly, I don’t have an accurate answer to these questions. All I know is that these are the desires of my heart. These are my dreams that I want to transform into reality. I’ve been praying to God to give me wisdom, knowledge, courage and direction to do all of these things. By myself, I can do nothing (John 5:30).

Title

When Gracie of Tipid Mommy tagged me about Viviene Bigornia’s upcoming e-course titled, The Roadmap to a Fulfilled Life (Live the Life God Designed You to Have), I took this opportunity to help me realize my dreams. I feel that, by God’s grace, this e-course will give me that much needed push and encouragement in using my skills, strengths and experiences to be a better version of myself. At this point in my life, I believe that God is preparing something great for me.

From the goals of the e-course that Viviene listed, two things have hit me spot on:

  • Confront your excuses

Chores. Pregnancy fatigue. Demands of the job. Unforseen circumstances. I seem to have to plenty of excuses in my list. It’s about time that I overcome all of these and start on the path of a fulfilled life.

  • Have the total confidence that YOU CAN DO IT!

Can I really do it?! That nagging self-doubt needs to be replaced with total confidence! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13).

I know that this course is designed for me! I pray to learn a lot in this two-week e-course and apply what I will learn for me to live a fulfilled life. Will you join us?

Enrollment for the The Roadmap to a Fulfilled Life (Live the Life God Designed You to Have) starts on April 28 and ends on May 15. As soon as we have enrolled, we get access to:
* The Inner Community
*Free Ebooks
*Free Weekly Planner Printable

I’m looking forward to being part of the Inner Community where I can hear and learn from women who are passionate about God and motivated to pursue and live out His calling in their lives.

Excited to know your own calling and find out how you can be fulfilled, too? Visit http://www.thefulfilledwomen.com/fulfilled-life to learn more. :)

Bear Brand Yogu Yoghurt Milk Drink

Nestle Bear Brand Yogu Milk Drink

It was lunch time when we received our Yogu Lunch Kit and my son couldn’t wait to drink the Strawberry variant as he is fond of anything in that flavor. I told him that we must have it chilled first since we just got it from the courier. As soon as he finished his meal, he asked for his Yogu Strawberry right away and he consumed it with gusto. I’m glad that he liked it. I will certainly have Yogu as a replacement for his usual chocolate drink. I find Yogu healthier, especially for his teeth. Just look at what all the flavors of Nestle Bear Brand Yogu has in store for my son:

  • Milk by Bear Brand, yoghurt and real fruit juice
  • Tibay resistansya nutrients Zinc and Vitamin C
  • 50% less sugar
  • No artificial flavors or colors
  • Mas masarap at mas matibay na yoghurt milk drink

Nestle Bear Brand Yogu Milk Drink20170315_084618

My son and I love eating yoghurt so it was easy for us to like Yogu. However, his older cousins wouldn’t even let a teaspoon of yoghurt near their mouth. But when they had a sip of all three flavors of Yogu, namely Green Apple, Mango, and Strawberry, they couldn’t stop raving about this milk drink and kept on saying that they would like to have it for baon in school. I also tried having a sip of the Mango and Green Apple flavors. The Yogu Mango is my new favorite because it is not too sweet nor too citrus for my taste.

I’m including Bear Brand Yogu Yoghurt Milk Drinks in my grocery list. It’s that one healthy milk drink that tastes great, too. We can have Yogu as part of our breakfast and snack or even have it as dessert, as my son prefers. It’s also perfect as our baon whenever we go out or run for errands.

The Bear Brand Yogu Yoghurt Milk Drinks are available in two sizes in leading supermarkets and convenient stores nationwide. I even found out that a sari-sari store in our neighborhood sells Yogu. Go ahead and buy some for yourself and your kids soon!

I Thought I Couldn’t Get Anything at Great Kids But I Was Wrong

I won a gift certificate from Great Kids at last year’s Thanksgiving Party of the Mommy Bloggers Philippines. I was excited to use it, thinking that I can get something for my little boy for Christmas. When I found out that Great Kids do not have clothes for boys, I got a bit disappointed. I then decided to get something from the shop that we can give us gifts.

From what I have read on their Facebook page, “Great Kids offers fresh, fun and pretty apparel for young girls aged 2-10 yrs old and capsule collections of Infant Girls, Mommy & Me and maternity apparel”.

Great Kids ATC

Last December 2016, I went to the Great Kids at Alabang Town Center (ATC) which is located the Level 2 Expansion Building to see what I can buy. When I went there the first time, I didn’t find anything that I want so I walked away empty-handed. Maybe because I still want to get something for my self, at least?

I visited Great Kids at ATC again a couple of weeks ago.  With fresh eyes, maybe I can find something that I would want for myself or for the little girls in our family. I came at a good time because I had the store to myself. I was able to chat with the supervisor and the clerk. They showed me their current promotions as well as their new arrivals.

Great Kids Girls Apparel

It was a good thing that Great Kids ATC allowed me to use my GC to get anything from their maternity and nursing line as well as from their girls’ apparel and from regular-priced items to those on sale.

Great Kids Girls Apparel

My second visit indeed made me look at what Great Kids has to offer in a new light. Since my husband and I have been praying for our next baby, it would be nice to get a maternity dress as part of our preparation :) I picked three dresses from Great Kids’ wide selection of maternity and nursing wear and took them with me inside the dressing room to see which one will fit nicely on me. Before trying each one on, I took a picture of the dresses. Yes, inside the fitting room. Big mistake. I could have taken photos while they were hanging on the racks for better view and lighting. This lady still has a lot to learn with photography!

I digress. Let’s go back to the dresses.

Great Kids - Grey Dress

There are reasons why I chose these pieces. I picked the grey, short-sleeved dress with black lines for its classic appeal. It looked very comfortable to wear and can go with any of the bags and shoes that I have (which isn’t a lot, by the way). It’s a maternity dress that doubles as a nursing wear. I find it stylish in that way. It makes it comfortable for breastfeeding moms like me to nurse our baby wherever and whenever. The top part of this dress makes it convenient for moms to nurse their babies without the risk of exposing their milk machine in public. This dress has an opening, big enough to fit in the head of a baby or even a toddler for nursing. The inside part of that section has a soft lining with slits on both sides.

Great Kids - Floral Dress

This spaghetti-strapped, ruffled, floral dress has that flirty vibe. Its lightweight fabric highlights body curves. With the kind of weather that we have this January, this dress is best worn with a cardigan or draped with a cozy shawl.

Great Kids - Pink Dress

This pink maternity and nursing dress looks funky with its print and cross-tie top. It has that same feature as that of the grey dress. Also, this dress makes a preggy woman look younger :)

Of all the dresses that I have tried on, I feel comfortable and I (think) look good in the grey, short-sleeved dress. It costs Php899.75 – a great steal for a maternity and nursing-friendly clothing! To make the most out of my GC, the clerk suggested that I pick something from their little girls’ apparel, which were on sale at that time. I got a cute blouse for my niece as our gift for her birthday next month.

If you’re an expecting mom, a breastfeeding momma, or have little girls to dress up, go check out Great Kids for stylish, functional, chic and reasonably-priced clothing. Great Kids will surely make you love shopping for yourself and for your little girls!

Check out below the list of Great Kids boutiques and kiosks as well as its sister shop, Pois Belly & Kids:

GREAT KIDS boutiques:
– TriNoma: Ground Floor near Activity Center
– Shangri-la Plaza: Level 4 Main Bldg
– Alabang Town Center: Level 2 Expansion Bldg
– Ayala Center Cebu: Level 3
– SM City Cebu: Level 2, Main Mall
– SM City Iloilo: Upper Ground Floor
– SM Mall Of Asia: Level 3, Main Mall

POIS BELLY & KIDS boutiques:
– SM Megamall: Level 5 The Atrium
– SM Lanang Premier Davao: Level 2

THE SM STORES:
– Aura
– BF Paranaque
– Calamba
– Cebu
– Iloilo
– Makati
– Mall Of Asia
– Manila
– Marikina
– Megamall
– North EDSA
– Pampanga
– San Lazaro

Visit Great Kids on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/greatkidsph/

 

Kitchen Adventures with Sugar Blend

This post was written in collaboration with Merisant Philippines,  makers of Sugar Blend and Equal Low Calorie Sweetener. All opinions stated here are mine.

Kitchen Adventures will always have a special place in my heart. It might sound cheesy  but this very thing livens up my passion in whipping up meals for my loved ones.  We have favorites that we cook on a regular basis, but sometimes, I get bored with preparing the same old dishes. I want to shake things up a little,  just a little bit.

Last year,  the folks at Merisant Philippines sent me this lovely basket of sweeteners that was filled with pouches of Sugar Blend and packets of Equal Low Calorie Sweetener. I was delighted with the package that we received for I was,  at that time,  on a baking spree. I shared about my happy mail on social media. Among the reactions that I received was a couple of precautions about the effects of using an artificial sweetener. I then searched for anything about Sugar Blend and Equal and found an article published on the National Geographic about sugar substitutes. I find that article useful and informative since I was planning to test Sugar Blend for baking and cooking. Now, to make things clear: I am writing this blog post to see how Sugar Blend will do with what I will prepare for my kitchen adventures. Will it make my output more palatable and visually appealing? That’s what I am about to share with you. If you are concerned with using sweeteners other than pure sugar, it is best that you talk to your doctor about it.

Sugar Blend and Equal Gift Basket

Let’s get to know Sugar Blend first. As indicated in its 400g pouch, Sugar Blend is a blend of sugar and sucralose, suitable for cooking and baking. It sweetens like sugar but with 50% less calories. Based on the serving comparison with sugar, 1 teaspoon of Sugar Blend (16kCal) is as sweet as 2 teaspoons of sugar (32 kCal). Merisant Philippines positions Sugar Blend as a versatile and affordable sweetener product that can provide healthy sweetness to your usual food and drinks.

I have tried Sugar Blend when I made my family’s favorites – French Toast for my husband and Oatmeal Cookies for our little boy :)

French Toast - Ingredients

French Toast
Ingredients:
5 slices of bread
2 eggs
1/2 cup of fresh milk
2 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of cooking oil
A dash of ground cinnamon
A dash of salt
Preparation: 
1. Beat the eggs. Add salt, milk and butter. Mix until well blended.
2. Heat pan with oil.
3. Dip bread onto the mix one at a time.
4. Fry each side until lightly browned.
5. Serve with a dash of cinnamon.   

https://www.facebook.com/EqualPhilippines/

Verdict: With Sugar Blend, the French Toast that I prepared turned out fine but my husband still prefers that I use brown sugar for his toasts.

Oatmeal Cookies with Sugar Blend

Oatmeal Cookies

I was craving for oatmeal cookies – the freshly baked ones that I used to get from cafes. I didn’t have the leisure of going to coffee shops at that time so I decided to make my own batch of oatmeal cookies. It was a good thing that we already have the Quaker’s Quick Cooking Oats on stock. At that time, my husband have been eating oats for breakfast. I just went to the Quaker’s Oats website and found this recipe. From the recipe, I substituted granulated sugar with Sugar Blend and used half of the required amount. I also omitted the cinnamon and nutmeg since I’m not fond of them. I actually made two batches of these cookies – bite-sized and cafe-sized (if there is such a term).

Verdict: I liked the way our first Oatmeal Cookies turned out. It’s sooo good that my son nibbled on the cookies after they barely cooled off on the rack! We shared some to my sister and my niece and they too loved our freshly baked cookies. I was so happy with the results that I made more the following week :)

With how my cooking and baking turned out, I am sure to use Sugar Blend on most of my dishes again. I like that I only need to use half of what the recipe requires for the sugar since Sugar Blend sweetens the same way as the regular sugar but with less calories – healthier and cost-effective.

Also, with the easy-to-pour pouch of Sugar Blend, I didn’t have to transfer its contents to another container. It’s easy to store too since it has a twist cap. It’s convenient enough to use for cooking without the hassle of spills.

Sugar Blend is available in leading supermarkets nationwide. At SM, it’s on the same shelf were the bottles of honey are.

To know more about Sugar Blend, visit their FB page at https://www.facebook.com/EqualPhilippines/

I Spy With My Little Eye

Recently, my three-year old says that phrase whenever I ask him to look for something. He got that from one of the episodes of Barney’s – the one about counting.

One time, I asked him to help me look for my inhaler inside our bedroom.

Me: Anak, please help Mommy find my inhaler.

L: (turns his back on me) I spy with my little eye…..

Me: (in an effort to help him say it) I spy with my little eye, something white…..

L: (rummages through his clothes drawer and pulls out something) Here you go, Maddie*!

*My son has been calling me Maddie instead of Mommy. I find it unique and cute so I don’t correct him. Also, I find it useful when we’re out because I know that only my son would call me that.

He smiled and gave me my missing inhaler. I went to his side and found my headband, hair tie, a missing page from his book, our masking tape, and other little toys nestled on top of his folded clothes.

Later that afternoon, I have observed that whenever I would tell him to go downstairs with me, he would clean up whatever is lying on the floor near my side of the bed and put them in that same drawer.

My little boy never fails to amuse me!

2016 MBP Gift Swap: Gift Giving with a Twist

I’m happy to have joined the MBP Gift Swap, a first for our community, Mommy Bloggers Philippines. It’s like Secret Santa on a higher level. We must buy a gift that would reflect our blog and personality. I have simplified this rule to make it a bit easier for me to pick a gift for my MBP Gift Swap Partner – get something that I myself would love to receive. After deciding on what to give our partners (which should also be at the prescribed monetary value), we must ship them out not later than December 10. By December 15, all of the participants in the Gift Swap must have already received our corresponding gifts. I confess that I send out mine at the last minute. It was a good thing that LBC is so reliable that Gracie got my gift by December 12 :)

As my blog post title says, this gift giving activity has a twist and it is equally exciting and challenging! Upon receiving our gifts, we must blog and share about it on social media. We need to share our MBP Gift Swap experience, the stuff we got, and tell something about the sender. Our posts about the gift swap must be published not later than December 20. From December 21 to 23, our sponsors will judge our blog posts according to blog style and relevance.  Ten mommies will receive a gift pack full of goodies, pictured below.

2016 MBP Gift Swap Gift Pack

I’m really hoping and praying to be among the winners. If I win, I would love to share the products included in the gift pack with my loved ones so they too can try them out and hopefully, include them in their future shopping lists.

Here are the brands who made this year’s gift giving more bountiful:

Contadina
Tupperware
Lorenzana Lorins Patis and Lorins Bagoong Alamang Guisado
myPhone watch
VillaDelConte chocolates
Arla
Poetry Magnets

Now, let me tell you about my MBP Gift Swap experience.

I got my package from Nina Sogue of The Balancing Act (http://www.ninasogue.com/) on the night of December 14. I had a funny story of how I got my gift. My son and I were at my parents’ house when a rider from Grab Express texted me and said that he was already in our area. He was asking about our exact location. I freaked out because I thought that I accidentally booked a ride. I texted back and said that I didn’t request for a ride. At that time, I misconstrued Grab Express to be the same as that of Grab Car, which explained why I panicked. I checked on the notifications and history of the app on my phone. It did not reflect anything related to December 14. I called Customer Support to help me sort out the confusion. During the call, I heard my Dad talking to someone who was looking for me outside the gate. I went out while the call with the CS rep was still active. That was when the rider said that he was from Grab, he has a package for me, and that he’d been looking for our address for quite a while. That was when everything made sense! Ha! Nina, my MBP Gift Swap Partner, sent her gift for me through Grab’s courier service. That was also the time when I remembered that I indicated my parents’ home as the delivery address. I profusely apologized to the rider who, thankfully, wasn’t that upset at all. A little while later, I got a text from Nina asking if I was able to receive her gift. I said I did and that I freaked out throughout the process. She apologized and said that she didn’t text me prior to the delivery because she wanted to surprise me. I was indeed surprise! I told her that I made a boo boo on my part and was okay with it. I was actually laughing at what just happened – that made my gift swap experience amusingly memorable :)

Take a look at what sweet Nina gave me – the My Balanced Life Planner 2017.

This red, annual planner came with a handwritten note from Nina. Instead of using a stationery, she used a black, speacialty paper and used a blue green metallic pen (if I’m not mistaken, or am I color blind?) to tell me why she chose the planner, a little something about herself and her blogging journey. Her choice of medium in sharing her story gave me a glimpse of her creativity and interesting personality. It prompted me to visit her blog, The Balancing Act. Nina’s blog has that neat layout and at the same time, exudes     creativity and vibrance. Go ahead and see it for yourself!

Nina, a young mom to a little charming boy, started her blog in February 2016. According to her, before putting out her thoughts in a public blog, she used to pour out her heart on a planner. That is why she decided to give me one. I have also noticed that the name of the planner, My Balanced Life, somehow shows congruence to Nina’s blog title, The Balancing Act. Nina’s blog has become her passion project where she shares her experiences as she tries to juggle different roles at the same time – being a mom, employee, a curious soul and a dreamer.

I commend Lani, Louisa and Joy for coming up with the MBP Gift Swap! It surely is a fun way to get to know the mommies in our community – we had a glimpse of each other’s personal lives and learn a thing or two about another mom’s blogging journey. I also enjoyed shopping for gifts for my other gift swap partner and crafting my letter and notes for her. Most of all, I felt like a kid again while I waited in eager anticipation to receive my gift :)

I will definitely join next year’s #MBPGiftSwap of #MommyBloggersPH. I hope that there will be more members of our growing community who will participate in the coming years so that we will be able to get know each other and, of course, spread the Holiday cheer!

Merry Christmas to all! :)