Monday, May 30, 2016

My Potterheads

Every night my eldest son would fix the living room, close the curtains, prepare snacks and drinks and watch Harry Potter with his youngest brother. They have finished all series about 2-3 weeks ago (and even bought a couple of books) and they are still at it. They don’t mind watching the darn movie over and over again. It is not surprising though as; in all fairness it does ignite their imagination. I remember a time when they were little, when their object of fascination was Naruto. That time to support their love for this anime, I made them a kunai using a couple of cardboards. Being the little kids that they were, they were gripped with delight! And so was I…for them!

Recently, their love for Harry Potter stirred them to research on all sort of things Harry P! They would talk to me about it endlessly. Often I would hear them animatedly put a magic spell on each other. Their vocabulary words already include Accio which they use when “summoning” their nanny, Sheila. Alohomora, when they want to open the fridge, and Expelliarmus when they pretend to fight using my small bamboo stick as wands. 

The stairs have an actual cupboard underneath
Then they got crazy about Butter Beer! Relentlessly they searched the internet for more information about the magical beverage. In my mind I was already planning a surprise. I must admit, I am quite the adventurer. I just love the idea of breathing life into the things that my children can only imagine! Making memories with them is something that am really fond of doing. It’s a big thing for me… a sort of legacy, something to remember me by. So as they’ve made Harry Potter part of our daily conversation, I announced to them one day, that I know of a place that serves Butter Beer. As soon as I said that they were all over me! They wanted to go right there and then but I told them to hold their horses as I want their sister to come with us. And so it was agreed.

Yay to Butter Beer!

The plan DID go through despite the fact that I dislike driving through EDSA! However, that day, I had no choice but to bring the car. After a couple of wrong turns, we finally arrived at The Nook! The resto opened at 1pm and we were already there before 12noon. It was good though that we were early as we’ve been told by someone from the small resto nearby that the place really attracted a good number of patrons. We were first in line and got the best seat! The place was really small but very comfy. And they had wands, robes like the ones that Harry, Hermione, and Ron wore, a broomstick, and a good number of books! It was a pretty cool place! The kids were ecstatic! They just couldn't contain their happiness. And most of all they got their taste of Butter Beer! 

heavy rains did not deter these people
By the time we got our orders the place was packed. And there was a long line of people outside waiting to be seated. It even rained but even that did not discourage the diners, some of them, already wet from waiting outside the resto. My kids, and our nanny were in awe and so was I! All in all, it was a great experience for everyone! 

Oh! And before I forget, my son made this Hogwarts Acceptance letter, which he would put by our doorstep pretending he got one! (eyes rolling)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Building courage

Back in the days I was casted for a play after auditioning for a role. I did not tell anyone about it because I wanted it to be a surprise. As soon as I got the role, I excitedly told my mom about it. The excitement turned into a defeated acceptance of having to go back and turn the role down. With shoulders slumped I had to yield to the belief that I cannot perform and study at the same time. Over the years I had a few bosses telling me that my proposed project cannot be done. And then later on find them owning it themselves. Oh I have had good bosses too! Those who allowed me to grow into my job, the ones who unselfishly trained me so that I could be better at what I do. That is probably why I did not allow these setbacks to deter me. But sometimes when I can no longer help it, I just cave in.

So there are those days when I find myself facing blank walls. No longer able to think. Just wanting the days to pass by quickly.  We let the dawn cover the sprightly morning because sometimes it is just easier to submit oneself to circumstances. Am still trying to find my way around this. Definitely, I would not want to reach the end of my life without having to ultimately reach my goal or tug at my life’s purpose. At the same time that I would not want my children growing up knowing that they have limited capabilities. Unsure of themselves. Without a purpose driven life.

One time my daughter, who is currently in College, asked my permission if she could join a school org that will require constant physical exhaustion and days of practices. I was so tempted to just say No! But I refused to. As parents we have to let our children reach their peak potentials, break barriers, and never be afraid to try. I am not saying that this is applicable to everything. No! Your child or children need to know that there is a difference between activities that would contribute to their betterment and to those that would only pull them to the gutter. My children know this and I have been very vocal about my stand on certain issues. We should always be ready to ignite even the tiniest spark if we want our kids or our spouse to succeed in life.  I would like to believe that I am guiding them, and supporting them not pushing them to stop living.

I know a couple (both doctors) who I certainly admire for being so supportive of each other and their children. I think that is the best ingredient in brewing a family of succesful people. So to the husbands who cheer their wife on ... continue doing so! Your wife will appreciate the encouragement. To parents who support their children's interests continue to motivate them they will value that as they grow up.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

On fire!

Am in Hell's Kitchen! All these fire. Today I decided to turn on the heat in my little kitchen! Yes this is how it is when my energy is restrained or when it is confined to hollow spaces. I think I do better when pushed to the wall. So this afternoon I decided to make custaroons, like the ones that are popular in the malls. born out of Ms. Gigi Gaerlan's creative mind! I love them custaroons and have dilly dallied trying to make some at home. The recipe is the same all over the internet and since this is my first time to do it, I have no way to tweak the recipe yet. So am just going to include links in here that you may find useful.

Adora's box was my first point of reference then went on to another Hapag Kainan just to compare well both turned out the same everything. So like I said, I am trying this one first and will do another set should I find some tweaky moments for this recipe!

Right now I have to hurry lest my children sees this haha am sure these will be gone in a few when I want it stored in the fridge first!

I hope I did justice to the recipe :) 

Kulawong Puso ng saging Recipe

An Auntie of mine is on a short vacation from the US, and requested me to cook for her one of the food posts she saw on my FB account. Who am I to refuse a simple request that would make my father's sibling happy? So let me share with you this simple recipe :)

Kulawong puso ng saging

For this recipe you will need the following:

2 banana heart, chopped or shredded (I chopped mine)
2 cups grated coconut
1 small onion, minced
3 pcs garlic, minced
1/4 cup vinegar, you can add another 1/4 cup
dash of pepper, more if you want 
a little sugar

Admittedly, this recipe needs a smooker. If you do not have access to one, I read from somewhere that you can use live coal to burn the coconut meat. I don't have both so I used my blowtorch and figured it may have the same effect.

Spread the grated coconut meat on an aluminum tray

1. So, spread the coconut meat on an aluminum tray and just blowtorch it until it becomes golden brown. Burning it a little is ok too! I love it when it is more burned than just golden brown. As this will give your Kulawo a kind of smoky flavor. 

2. In the meantime place the banana heart in a bowl with brine water and let it just stay there for about 5-7 mins. After which you may squeeze out the brine from the 'puso ng saging'. Wash the banana heart under running water and squeeze out any excess water. 

3. Now back to Mr. slightly burnt coconut 😃 
Put the slightly burned coconut meat into a bowl and pour vinegar on it. You can add more vinegar if you wish to, just not too much if you will only be using 2 banana hearts. Squeeze the milk from  the grated coconut into a clean bowl. then set aside.

4. Place the coconut milk, garlic, and onion in a pot on medium hear. Just let the coconut milk simmer without you stirring it. Remember that you poured vinegar into it earlier. You will need to patiently cook the vinegar before you can stir it like crazy! :D Let it boil then simmer it for about 5 minutes.

5. Add the banana heart and season with salt and pepper. Add a little sugar to balance the flavor and simmer it some more for about 10 minutes.

***This recipe can be cooked with or without meat. You can use minced pork or toasted alamang for added flavor. 

Let's eat!

Serve hot on equally hot rice! I can just imagine you all drooling! :D

Friday, May 27, 2016

On Broken wings

She has known defeat but never like this. In the battle of wits and survival She can no longer stand a chance. Two years from now and the golden age will be.  What shining honor can she bring? 

The pillar is about to crumble. How can You be glorified for the unselfishly gave... for the gift You so bestowed? She has never felt so defeated.! Her wings are clipped, it won't be indulged to pan through the heavens. It can only flutter in the perimeter of these walls. Even butterflies are empowered to get out of its cocoon while she is only where she's allowed to be.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

You inspire me!

One unassuming August day back in 2015, I received an email from someone who told me that she stumbled upon my blog without really meaning to. She mentioned how she continued reading on until my last entry posted back in September 2014. I was so surprised to know that someone still took time to read my articles but it was sort of an eye opener too! Knowing that there are people out there who stop and take time out of their busy day to read and appreciate my blog. Thank you! I know I have emailed you back but feel I short changed you because I was still not able to go back to business and update my ofwifediaries.

Prior to this I also received a message from someone who at that time was also in Saudi Arabia…he is an FB friend now and I hope he still continues to read my stories. Hello from the Philippines! 

Then 2 days ago, I received an FB message from a former colleague who came across my blog too!  Messages like these keeps my heart a flutter as it is a confirmation of sorts that the things I’ve written about are not mere words that stumble from my head, goes through my heart, and onto my blog. It is a confirmation that whatever I write means something to someone…can mean something to someone. That I am able to inspire. That I am able to give hope, make people feel, make them laugh! I am humbled … my heart is stirred…

So I dedicate this article to these 3 people who took time to send me a message, wished me well, and who I hope to continue to inspire. 

Thank you so much!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Soup it up!

This morning I woke up with a purpose! Nax! In the Philippines "nax" could mean anything. For me, at this moment, it is equivalent, but not limited, to an elbow jab plus an affirmation of how good it is to have woken up in the right frame of mind.

Anyway, I would like to talk about food! What particular food are you and your family into? I would like to think that in my family, my kind of food is their kind of food too! I know how to feed my family and I am aware of the kind of food they prefer. My children are more inclined to stews, sauces, sinigang (tamarind based soup), and of course the usual junk pizza and sweet spaghetti. These days as much as I would like to have the same appetite as theirs, I refrain to. Best part is that the whole family has done away with softdrinks since August last year! Plus we try to eat as much healthy food as possible. So…hooray!

Well today I would like to share with you a very healthy recipe. I learned the recipe early this year while watching a show on tv. It’s very nutritious and very easy to cook. The recipe is called Sinuwang. I don’t know much about its origins (region wise) but it can be compared to Bulanglang which uses almost the same ingredients except corn.

I did a little twist to the recipe and called it Crab and Corn Sinuwang. So for this deliciously healthy soup, you will need the following:

Featured at Mommy Mundo

1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken broth
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
I thumb-sized ginger, grated
1/4 medium-sized squash, sliced
1 can corn kernels, preserve corn water
Fish sauce
Ground white pepper
Salt (just a little)
1 bunch chili leaves

7 to 10 pieces crab sticks, shredded


1. In a pot, heat chicken broth for about 5 minutes.
2. Toss in garlic, onions, and ginger.
3. After 2 minutes, toss in squash. Let boil.
4. Pour the entire contents of the corn in can into boiling pot.
5. Season with fish sauce, white pepper, and a little salt.
6. Lower heat and toss in shredded crab sticks.
7. Turn heat off when squash is tender. Toss in chili leaves and cover pot. Serve hot. You may add more chicken broth.

It's a versatile dish that instead of crab you can use chicken, beef, pork or mussels. You can add coconut milk to add more flavor. Let your imagination run wild!  😍

By the way this recipe was featured at  Mommy Mundo

Monday, May 23, 2016

Re-written: Relaunching the relauncher

Lately I have been thinking about going back to work. I have been working since I was in college. My parents did not even know that I once worked as a sales consultant at Rustan's, handling Benetton products. I earned money while in school. And while at that, I was also a part time volunteer at the Caritas Manila, teaching special children.

After college, armed with my diploma, the only other thing I had were my guts. I remember that my first job was at a video store as its Shift Management trainee. From there I became Promotions manager to a group of restaurants where I handled membership cards. Then went on to being Assistant Purchasing manager of an electronics company. Many years later I had a shift in my career; this was after I got married and gave birth to my second child. I joined the fast rising call center industry. and spent 7 years doing my darnedest at customer service. Years passed and my call center career had to end to give way to following my husband to Saudi Arabia. I worked at a 5-star hotel and was the only Pinay working at the HR department; there were only 2 Filipinas working in the hotel which, eventually became 3, when I was asked to hire my own assistant. As an OFW's wife I had to be there for everyone since we had no maid. So after a long while I had to say goodbye to my corporate career. The internet became my best bud and I started blogging again just so that my brain can start functioning as it's supposed to 😂.

Being a CFL (certified food lover), my "suppressed" passion for baking, resurfaced. It's surprising where your interest can take you in your desire to learn! It was equally passionate kitchen divas like Paula Deen, Nigella Lawson, Rachel Ray, and Martha Stewart that helped me along the way via the internet. I turned this interest into a business opportunity. At a young age, I knew that I like selling stuff especially the ones that I produce. My first try at the food business started way back during my call center career. It was there that I sold food while taking calls 😁. I remember having to go to the grocery to buy the things I need for that night's orders, then come home and get my forty winks. I'd sleep for about 4-5 hours then wakeup to prepare the orders.

Moving forward... We ended 5 years of Saudi and moved back to the Philippines. Thinking I could go back to work was futile as my kids wanted me to take care of them.. In their own words, they wanted me home when they came back from school. And having no "Ate Sheila" to take care of them, I was blissfully stuck with them until such a time I can finally spread my wings... again... Well to cut the story short, Ate Sheila came back and circumstances found me wanting to go relaunch into a corporate career. I am not scared of interviews, mind you! I enjoy them! I guess it is because I always have so many things to say, so many experiences to share. However, much to my dismay, joining the fresh grads, and the seasoned talents, job hunting is not as sprightly as it used to be. The internet may have made job hunting easier but I realise more than ever, that the labor market is a lot more competitive these days. Where my Curriculum vitae is reviewed alongside the ones submitted by either fresh graduates or those who have their master's degree and Phd's. So for a relauncher like me who has extensive experience (or so I thought), it was pretty tough. Relaunchers like myself have to understand that further learnings are needed to keep ones corporate profile more attractive to the companies we are sending our Resumes or Curriculum Vitae to. Do not stop at reading! Enroll or attend seminars. Keep yourself abreast with new management skills or other trending skills that will boost your corporate appeal! I have had my share of successes and failures! And as always I go back to the thought that whatever the result we must be prepared to gear on, bounce back, and move forward!

So for now, I just leave everything up to the Lord. He has provided me skills that I can work on, a restless mind that makes me want to go to the computer and do this.

Need tips on job interviews? Click on this link

Career goals

It is fortunate when you find a good company to work for but blessed when you get a boss who will guide and teach you all throughout your corporate journey! Am just glad my former manager has turned out to be a good friend even after all these years.

It pays when you have good work ethics, when you have focus, when you plan ahead, when you actually plan for a goal. You just don't say you have a goal and do something else. You stick to that goal and hold on for dear life! You don't complain how life has been hard for you and yet be too self-absorbed with things that will not help you prosper in both your personal life and your career. You don't feel sorry for yourself and yet do the opposite. You don't let yourself and everyone think that you are a victim of circumstances. Rise above that and be a blessing to those around you and not just a burden for others bear.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

On days I feel kind of like this

I want to color my hair green wear it short and cropped. I want to walk a mile and meet the sun as it rises. I want to listen to the stories of old, hear a baby's soft laughter, hold the hand of a child. I want to sit on the sand watch the moon rise as the tide rushes forward. There is nothing better than a simple life and green colored hair.

Friday, May 13, 2016

For Better or for Worse...

Each wedding has it's own beauty and magic. And I am glad my family and I got to attend one. Last week my husband, youngest son, and I were blessed to witness the wedding of very good friends.  And it was  not surprising that the general feeling that day was of "thankfulness". The good vibe going around was of happiness that at last each one found each other. 

I guess the good feeling swept over me that when my husband and I got home, there was this fountain of ideas that was just wanting to get out and translate into words. So, there! I have come up with some stuff that I want to share with all the bride and groom all over the world to understand and think about.

To all the brides:

I would like to say, expect that your life will be a lot different from what it used to be. Your days will no longer be for you alone, but for your husband as well and I assure you that you will enjoy each and every single day with him.  Your nights would no longer be alone but with that one person your soul has been searching for. And I tell you, your nights will be filled with reassuring hugs and wonderful bliss! When you wake up the first thing that you would see is your future with him and that alone will make you want to get up and prepare him breakfast every day.

To all the grooms:

In the same manner that your “ex-girlfriend, now-wife’s” life will be, then that would true for you as well. Your mornings will find you beside that one person who will make you whole. That one person with whom you can start a family with and feel complete, more than ever. That one person who, will always be there for you no matter what. Your breakfast will  no longer be just a grab of bite at a nearby fast food store but something made out of love. And like your bride, your nights will be filled with loving kisses, and mushy hugs.

To both:

But that will not always be the case. There will be times when you will both disagree on things. It could be small and petty, while some would be really big ones. You will feel alone and disheartened but you know deep in your heart that no matter what, you will always be there for your better half. There will be times when you’d feel the need for assurance and it may or may not be given to you. Not because you love each other less but because your individual minds do not really function in the same way. Be understanding of each other’s weaknesses. Acknowledge that even if you are one in spirit, you are still unique individuals and that should always be a point of reference. Remember, it is that very distinct quality that drew you to each other! Always treat each day as new! Do not exchange your gadgets for each other’s companionship. Communicate! Ask each other how their day went. Tell each other how your day was. Tell each other how you’ve missed them. No! It’s not OA to do so if you think of every gesture as something done out of love. Do not think that one is better than the other. Both of you are! Do not downplay what your partner can do! Be proud of what each of you can do. Be each other’s consultant. Reach a decision which both of you are sure of doing. Listen to each other’s stories. When one fails, let the other lift him/her up. Be proud of your spouse! Keeping your life private is different from letting the other side of your world know that you are proud of them. Be a good friend to others but never allow your friendship to jeopardize your marriage. Do not have casual lunch out or dinners alone with the opposite sex even if you say that you are just friends. You are putting yourselves and your relationship with your partner at risk. Perhaps some of you would disagree but most infidelities started on casual grounds. Respect your partner’s feelings. If you know that your action will be something that would hurt your spouse, then just don’t! It’s that simple. Do not start lying to each other, white lies are still lies.  To the man of the house be always the first one to understand. Women are complex and wives are probably even more abstruse. But remember, they will also always be the first one to try to understand you. To the queen of the house, (and I am telling this to myself), do not lose your individuality but at the same time be the woman your husband can always lean on. Put good food on the table. Pray and make God the center of your marriage! Honor Him for He made your love story!

Before getting married you each had a vision... a goal… a dream you want to put into realization. Marriage should not be a hindrance to your dreams but expect some changes that would allow you and your spouse to get down on it together. Support each other’s dreams but make sure that the risk you are about to take together are calculated risks with minimal setbacks. 

You will have kids and it is normal of course, for couples to want to build their own family. Your children will be a reflection of you. Make sure you are living examples of what you want them to be and how you want them to act. But remember no family is perfect so be forgiving of each other’s imperfections yet strive to be better for the Lord.

Never stop loving each other! Never stop the romance! Feed your marriage with passion, never stop flirting with each other! Romance and passion is not only for the young! 

So to Rex and Tin, thank you for inspiring me to start my blog again. I know I won't be able to update as often but for me this is a good thing :)  Congratulations and Best wishes to both of you! Let me raise my glass to that! ... Cheers!