Thursday, June 30, 2016

Our Nanny McShei(la)

On our way home from the grocery, nonchalantly I asked my youngest son if I've forgotten to buy something that her nanny Sheila requested me to buy. Suddenly we both faced each other, eyes wide with fright; we said at the same time ... "Hala! How will we explain that to Ate Sheila?!!!" Then we both started laughing. It was really funny how our longtime nanny affects us this way. Even my husband would agree. He used to complain about having to finish up his glass of water. But try telling him, "drink that or face nanny Sheila's wrath!" and he would drink up without a fight! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

On seeing the good

Just last Saturday, the whole family attended the anticipated mass as we normally do. It was Fr. Jun Sescon, current Parish priest of Mary Mother of Hope, Landmark Chapel, who officiated the mass much to our delight! Even my kids enjoy the way he says his sermon, always lively, and with a valuable lesson. 

The Gospel was about living our lives faithfully and the willingness to put the concerns of the world aside for our God. Instead of saying his usual sermon, what he did was to show us a video that depicts the Gospel in so many ways. It was an ad by Breeze. I am not endorsing said product but would just like to share with you the video that hit a spot and hopefully made a mark on everyone who watched.

We are so involved with our concept of life, our faith, and how to follow a righteous path that we forget what is essential. Ready your box of tissues, and learn from this video. 


Monday, June 27, 2016

Good Meal Hunting

Remember me telling you that I have a project? That was about 4 to 5 blogs ago... if am not mistaken.

Let me start by saying that I have always imagined myself in the food business. Reason why when I was still working, I brought with me food that I peddle at work. I have always dreamed of running my own cafe and that still remains as such. So when a friend of mine and a former colleague, messaged me about checking out goodmealhunting, I did so without hesitation. From the moment I checked the website, I knew that this was what I needed! I immediately signed up and a day or two after got a call from them confirming my online registration. It was that day that I arranged going to their office at Circulo Verde in Quezon City. I went there on June 9 with my youngest son in tow. I brought with me food samples as well and signed the contract for good measure hahaha! I am amazed and so happy that something like this is available for homemakers like me. Now I can just worry about cooking and let Good Meal Hunting take care of the delivery! I have met Warangkana Gear Fajardo, the Founder and CEO of Good Meal Hunting and I am just as amazed that finally someone like her was able to provide a platform for kitchen merchants like me. I have high hopes and very happy that I made the right decision by joining them!

Viaña’s Crapple Salad Roll

Viaña’s Chapchae

Viaña’s Chicken Cordon Bleu

Happy Cabbie!

I rode a cab on my way home from the grocery. At first when I saw the shabby looking cab (not that I minded), I prayed that it would not have small la cucarachas running or flying around inside. But as soon as I went in, I was cheerfully greeted by the cabbie driver. I was surprised as he looked quite old to be working still. My first thought was this man should just be enjoying his grandchildren at his age. And so I rode we were silent for a moment. But that silence was broken when he told me how the traffic has worsened over the years. That started the ball rolling. I think people find it easy to talk to me. I am, as my husband tells me, a "magnet" to people who have stories to tell. 

Needless to say Lolo driver began telling me his. He's been a cab driver for 3 years, working prior to driving a cab. He has 8 children 2 of whom are working abroad and are both against him working. But Lolo Francisco (wow my namesake! Boy version) does not want to stop working. When I told him that he should be enjoying himself already, his reply was he does not want to stop working as he feels like he would get sick if he just stays home. And how his grandchildren would suddenly rouse him from a restful sleep by tapping on his face or shouting at the top of their lungs. He also mentioned that at his age, he still takes care of the education of his grandchildren. So he said with much conviction "Di ba di pa ako pwede tumigil magtrabaho? (See? I cannot be without work, right?) He said he pities his 2 daughters especially the youngest one who used to have a husband whom he wanted so much to inflict pain on with his bare hands. How he took care of separating them both than just stay in the background while his son in law makes a punching bag out of his daughter. 

Despite his sad story, I see how much he has retained his mirth! Confidently he shared how he is not taking any maintenance medication even at his age as he continues to eat vegetables. I cowered  in shame hahaha because despite being more than 20 years his junior, I must admit that he is healthier by far than I am.Anyway, Lolo driver and I shared what should have been a 20-25 minute ride from SM Makati to my place but took an hour because of the earthquake drill. Honestly, I did not mind the halt along Ayala Avenue that day. I learned a lot from this happy and humble Lolo driver.

People from all walks of life amazes me but it is the stories of old people that I love listening to. So thank you Lolo driver for sharing me your story, your zest for life, and your attitude about work! I said a little prayer for you as you brought me back home.

Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years. 
- Ausonius -

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dad's Butterbeer

I think that Hogwart's Butterbeer and The Nook kindled my husband's imagination that he suddenly researched for a recipe online. The next day ... Father's day, he charmed his way into buying the ingredients much to my amusement. As soon as we arrived home, he coaxed me into helping him with his butterbeer. Of course I refused, as I wanted him to do it with the kids. So they made the vanilla syrup and chilled it after for next day's use. The following day, right after dinner, he did his "barista act" and started "brewing." I'd say it's pretty cool for him to have exerted effort to discover how butterbeer is made. I know it was a kind of bonding time for him and the kids. I didn't want to ruin the moment so I left him to do his bidding.  For those who are curious as how to it is made, here's the recipe.

got this from

Our children's verdict? They loved it! 

Best Daddy ever!


Cool Kuya

And so we celebrated our youngest son's 11th birthday at The Nook, (AGAIN!) We really had no plans of leaving the house that day as I was thinking of holding a joint celebration the next day, which was also Father's day. But as it turned out, my eldest son would not hear of it. He said it was his younger sibling's birthday and he wanted him to enjoy. He offered to spend his gift money for his baby brother. I was really touched! I seem to be doing something right with my kids! I agreed because I would like to teach my kids a valuable lesson - taking care of each other.

Our favorite!
Triple S Pasta
My husband only likes his sardines with rice, so we got him this :)

 Now this is the bomb! Underneath all those fried potatoes is a big hotdog on a bun!

Nook Overload

I love almost anything with cheese! But I guess it would be nice if they'd change the cheese they use on this sandwich. Perhaps something with a bit tangy. Perhaps next time I can request them not to put the parmesan,
Grilled cheese panini

These bacon wrapped chicken are also yummy! Served with maple syrup :)

Our tummies enjoyed the food! Our eyes feasted on the place (yep even if it was our second time)! I could see that even my husband enjoyed himself too! All in all everybody had a good time! The place usually opens at 1pm but we were really lucky that day as we were allowed to go inside even if it was an hour or so before opening. So thank you so much Kuya Alloy for being a part of your younger brother's birthday! Your gesture certainly made it into Allen's treasured memories! Thank you for being a good kuya to Allen, your daddy and I love you so much!

Saturday, June 18, 2016


When I was a child, he was my first pillar. The only man in my life. He was my tree top, my human seesaw, and my piggy back ride among other things. Today I see a man who has weathered the years, a man who has turned his backyard into his retirement playground; where he could pound every flat surface with his handy hammer while saying expletives on the side hahaha... Papa, let me begin by saying thank you for your quiet love, your generosity, your big heart, and for always being our steady front when everyone else is panicking! Thank you Papa! For me you are the best, I won't have you any other way!

To my husband...the father of my children. We love you! Thank you for your sacrifices, for the love that you unselfishly show our kids, for the gift of laughter. Thank you for always pushing our children to do their best, for being a prayerful father, and for being a good example to them. To our children you are their hero! To them you are their pillar of strength. Thank you for being very demonstrative of your love and supportive of their dreams and aspirations. And to the father of my husband, the man I never got the chance to get to know. Let me tell you how great you've raised your first born! He is the most selfless, loving, caring, responsible, and prayerful man that he is. My children (your apos) are so lucky to have your son as their father!

To my brother in law Bernard, thank you for taking care of my sister. For loving her despite her expensive bags hahaha just kidding! For simply being the kind of husband you are to her and father to my nephews and niece. For having a good heart... a heart big enough to love our family! 

To Glenn, thank you for being the source of my youngest sister's happiness! It may have taken a while before your paths were allowed to cross but it was worth all the years she had to wait before you came and swept her off her feet! Thank you for being a very good father figure to my niece Hope. You are  everything she has hoped for in a father!  Thank you too for having a heart big enough to allow them both in your life!

Happy Father's Day! We honor the four men in our lives, as we honor the Lord God, the father of all men!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Happy Birthday bunso!

I'm trying to recall when I first learnt about you. It seems so far away now... that memory. But what I can clearly remember was how I felt when I found out that a very tiny you was slowly growing inside my womb. I felt genuinely happy because I know that I was about to give your dad another great news!

Today you celebrate your 11th birthday and I sigh... my baby. I know you will always be that to me - the child of my heart. I thank the Lord everyday for trusting me with the role of motherhood, the opportunity to be a mother to you, your ate, and kuya. I would like to think that I am doing a good job of being that kind of mother.

So as you celebrate your 11th, your dad and I continually pray that you grow up in faith, and in the knowledge that you are are everything to us!

Ace it!

Saw this posted on the wall of my children's room. I find this very assuring :) #schoolyeargoals. Very good son! Carry on!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Project Witch's Brew

Let me start by saying that this is not a paid ad, am just sharing how happy I am with the results after using my own "Witch's Brew" The soap I used may have helped but since I started my own concoction my face is no longer as dry as it used to be. And the rosacea has since then diminished since I started using it religiously seven (7) days ago. I promise I did not use any filter on these photos.

Need I say more? Nah... the photos says it all. I'll probably try adding a tad of apple cider vinegar next time to see what effect it would have on my skin. So till my next update :)


Friday, June 10, 2016

Simple joys

Happiness is a page rank that has gone from 69,541 to 70,025 and an Alexa rank from 9,003,761 to 4,791,870 in just 3 days! Wow! (again little triumphs)

And d’you know what else? J

I started my first blog 8 years ago, twelve days after my wedding anniversary. I vaguely remember why I started blogging but what I can recall though was that I was first introduced to it by a former colleague. I started one but it was without heart so I stopped trying. 

Years later my husband encouraged me to start blogging but I was clueless as to what topic I should focus on. Then one day I realized that perhaps I could do a diary type of blog where I can talk about my journey as a call center mommy or just plain blabber about my day with my kids and whatnot. So blogging happened. Fast forward to 2016 and am still doing the blog dance J.  I might have been in and out of the blogosphere but nonetheless I come back to it like a foodie who keeps coming back for ice cream! 

My 9th blogging year and my wedding anniversary is about two months away so am thinking of a fun thing to do on these two important dates this coming August. So watch out for that! I’ve been revisiting my first ever blog From the diary of a call center Mom and been teary eyed one moment and smiling with mirth the next. So, I’d like to share with you some of those links. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did revisiting.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

My witch's brew

I get so frustrated with my skin as it is often a play between being dry or oily. I think the last time I had ultra soft and really very good skin was when I was a baby 😂  So, for the longest time I have searched far and wide for the best skin soap and the best moisturizer for my face. Truth be told it's been a long and arduous path! And very frustrating most times! Then one day, while buying at Watson, I absentmindedly picked up a soap, I was reading through the label when the cashier told me that it was on sale. From the price of P300 or P500 (not sure), it was now being sold for P50; the box contained 2 bars. 

I've forgotten all about the darn soap as I was following my doctor/friend's advise to use milk cubes on my face and nothing else. Anyway, one night coming from a tiring trip, I felt the need to wash my face. I used the soap which, was unscented by the way. I continued using it for a couple of days and noticed that the rashes I have on my face has diminished by around 50% as my rashes used to be bumpy and red angry. After using the said soap, the bumps are gone but my face was still "rosaceous", if there was even such a word! hahaha Yes am inventing words here! I still needed a good moisturizer though, but the moisturizers I've been using are causing my face to break out. Hence, I tried olive oil which was ok but I felt I needed something more. So the other day I prepared my own natural concoction. I blended one (1) whole avocado, around two (2) tbsp of olive oil, and one (1) lemon with the pulp. I used my blender to cream my concoction. I started using it last night so let's see what happens in the following days. When I woke up this morning, I could still feel a few patches of rough skin. I'm going to give myself a week of this treatment, if it goes well (which I hope it would, since am using natural ingredients) then I shall use it to moisturize my skin. I have not told my doctor/friend about my "witch's brew" though 😂.

I'm not promoting or anything and am not even being paid for this article. Am just sharing something so that people with the same skin problem can look into as well. Am posting my photo to make sure we all get to check how well my "concoction" would work. Give me a week won't you?

#nofilter #rosaceaproneskin

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Life's a bowl of everything!

I read somewhere (most probably on Facebook) about an old adage on how “Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, and Today is a gift of God that’s why it’s called Present!” Some weeks ago I was talking about a career relaunch which looked promising at first but which, eventually brought me back to where I started. Weeks back I was inconsolable and allowed myself to feel bad about my job hunting experience with the earnest desire to be of help to my family’s ever growing needs. I know that God has a plan for me but I was so desperate… so impatient to know what it is! That time I felt the dire need to be able to do the very thing that kindles my passion. I felt anxious about the future, I was putting so much stress on myself about not having the time and money to pursue a culinary course. Of not being able to put into reality what I’ve always envisioned to do. 

After a week of wallowing in self-doubt, self-pity, and uncertainty – I jumped back on my feet and decided to start blogging again. My very first blog entry after September 24, 2014 had something to do with the wedding of very good friends, which I posted on May 13, 2016. After which, my next entry was posted after my “weeklong kawawa-naman-ako” period hahaha. Sometimes we really need to curl up like a fetus and begin anew. When we feel we have to re-think our life’s purpose, it is always a good idea to sit it through. I would like to believe that the hiatus helped me accept my defeat, re-discover what I can do, and allow me to re-design my plans which should be aligned with what the Lord has prepared for me. Allow yourself some quiet time and believe that things would work out in the end. It may not be exactly as how we’ve planned it but you will realize that there has always been a blueprint, it was just a matter of time.

I have an ongoing project coming up but I would rather reveal that on another day when I have something more concrete to share. So for now, let me serve as the bright light for everyone who feels enslaved by their current status. Nothing is lost! We just have to have a great  amount of faith and vision enough to own it!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Oh my Ribs!

You know coming back from Saudi, I was filled with hopes of fulfilling my lifelong dream of becoming a Chef. Of taking a real course on Culinary Arts, of being able to wear “The” Chef’s uniform or Chef’s whites and of course the Toque. Oh! Don’t confuse my longing for the prestige of wearing such but it’s this burning desire to learn more, to finish the course, to apply this knowledge and the added skill to what I currently do. The uniform and toque stands as an affirmation of this enduring love for this craft! It is no longer in slumber but fighting to be recognized!

While this is something that is far from materializing, I continue to find my place in the heart of my tiny kitchen! So today am sharing a favorite of the family… Barbecued ribs! I do not have a smoker, nor a place where I can go barbecuing so I just use my sturdy oven to do the task. And since I do not have a smoker, I buy liquid smoke so that my ribs would have that smoky flavor to it!

For this recipe you would need the following:

1 slab of ribs, I buy mine at SM Supermarket as they always have a good supply of ribs J
2 cups banana catsup
¼ cup olive oil
1/8 cup brown sugar
1-2 tbsp liquid smoke
3-4 drops Knorr seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Chili powder
Dried oregano
Garlic powder
¼ cup Rootbeer

1.   Mix all ingredients and rub onto slab of ribs
2. Marinate overnight. I also inject some of the marinade into its flesh. Keep the marinade for basting.

Inject with marinade and leave overnight in the fridge

      3.  The next day slow cook for 5 hours drop some of your potatoes into the pot as well
      4.  Take out the ribs from the slow cooker and let it drip on a rack
      5.   Place cooked ribs on a roasting pan and baste with remaining marinade.
      6.  Oven bake for 30-45 mins with your slow cooked potatoes at 145-150oF temp., basting from time to time.
      7.  Serve hot with potatoes or any vegetable of your choice.