Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Pride and Joy

Aren't they cute? These were taken from The Picture Company months ago.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

DIY Series: Personalized Apron

During S's 3rd birthday, she had a small school birthday party. I had a lot of plans but again budget was the issue. Unlike during S's 1st and 2nd birthday parties, when I was still working and had money to augment the paltry budget my CFO gave me, this time the "working mommy no more" had to be extra creative and resourceful on how to make the party special at the same time stick to my budget.

S and her classmate getting busy with the activity
Her school only allows simple parties in school so no games and program. But I wanted to add an activity aside from the usual eating and blowing the candles. I decided to do a cupcake decorating activity. The kids decorated cupcakes I ordered from Frupcakes using candies, sprinkles and fondant decorations while wearing these cute little aprons. I got the idea from The Loot Fairy. I initially wanted to order from them but they have a 24 pcs minimum order. It came to a point I was tempted to order all 24 thinking the rest I can give out as Christmas gifts. Tee hee! But at that moment, I did not have the money to order all 24 pieces. 

With no sewing skills, I tried asking my friend if her mom who dabbles in sewing can make the aprons for me. It was fairly easy to make so she asked me to send her the template and the materials. I'm sure your friendly neighborhood mananahi (seamstress) can do that for you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

DIY Party Series

I've been busy lately planning for the little boy's party. And I only have less than a month left. Yeah I know I'm cramming which is so unlike me. S's party was planned 7 months in advance. I initially had a hard time deciding where to do M's, whether to go big or intimate. So until I sorted that out just last weekend, I cannot go into the nitty gritty. Every waking hours now are spent on Photoshop and soon cutting and gluing papers.

Photo Credit:
One thing I love  to do for my kids' parties are the DIY projects (do-it-yourself projects). Aside from these are labor of love and add up personalized touches, it is a way for me to save money. You see the hubby is no believer of big parties. He grew up during the communist times in Europe where everything is rationed. Birthday means a homemade cake and a small salu-salo in the house. No fancy gifts and definitely no fancy parties. Which is so unlike Filipinos who throw big parties during the first and the seventh birthdays. During S's 1st birthday party he set up a budget which made think "Are you serious?" So while my mommy friends had the opportunity to hire party planners, I had to do everything own my own: from looking for a venue, making balloons (there are a lot of tutorials in YouTube) to making my invitations and other decors. 

It is very easy to do DIYs.  All you need is a little creativity and a lot of patience. But it is hard labor too. I know I'm exaggerating but have you tried sitting for 3 hours straight cutting small pieces of pictures for your paper tole invitations? You will also need  to do alot of researching. I usually get ideas from Marthe Stewart and Tip Junkie. Forums such as GirlTalk and Smart Parenting will give you ideas what's "in" in the birthday party scene in the Philippines.

One helpful tool I use is Photoshop. I learned using this during my Multimedia class in college (see Ms. E I did learn something from your class). After graduation, I totally forgot about it then was forced to re-learn it to make S's baptism invitation. I'm still no expert in this and I only know the basics. BUT I do think I'm able to make fantastic invitation layouts (I'll share some of it next time). Back to Photoshop, it takes sometime to learn the software but once you get the hang of it, using it is quite easy. However, if you don't have the time to learn a new software or do not have the intention on investing on buying the software, you can easily do your layouting in PowerPoint or in Paint. These have limited functionalities compared to Photoshop but it can help you accomplish the task.

From time to time, I'll be sharing my DIY Party ideas. Hopefully, you mommies who are planning parties for their kids will learn a thing or two from them.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Meet Mateo Nicolas

Meet Mateo Nicolas. He was born almost a year ago on November 17 weighing 7lbs 4 oz.

Unlike with his Ate (Big Sister), my labor was  fast (active labor was only over 2 hours). My EDD was supposed to be on November 27. We only stayed in the hospital for a day but it felt like we were there for weeks. You see S was in and out of the ER for fever, diarrhea and dehydration since November 12 and was finally admitted last November 15.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Recipes: Pork Kinamatisan

I came from a family who loves to cook. Almost every family reunion revolves around food. I remember my maternal Lolo (grandfather) waking up as early as 4 am on a Sunday to go to Farmer's Market to get the first dibs on the freshest produce. Then he'll slave away the whole morning to prepare the most sumptuous lunch. So you can just imagine his disappointment if we miss our Sunday reunions. It was almost as if you committed a mortal sin. 

I do not have any formal training in cooking. But I did get my Lolo's love for cooking. And over the years I have collected a lot of recipes - my own, family recipes and some I gotten off the internet and then tweaked a bit. From time to time, I'll be sharing some of these here. 

Pork Kinamatisan is my mom's recipe. I'm not sure where she got this but this has been a staple in our home. If you're a novice cook or if you don't like the prep work, this is the recipe for you. Pork Kinamatisan got it's name from one it's major ingredients - kamatis or tomato in Filipino. Hope you enjoy this!

Pork Kinamatisan


1 kilo Pork Ribs (if ribs are a bit expensive for you, you can use liempo)
6-8 pcs red tomatoes medium sized (cubed)
2-3 tablespoons of patis or fish sauce (you can adjust this to taste)
1-2pcs finger chilis (same thing you put in sinigang)

In a shallow pan, put in your ribs, tomatoes and patis. DO NOT PUT ANY WATER. Cover your pan and put it in a very low heat. You'll see that water will eventually come out of the tomatoes. Stir occasionally. Once your pork is tender, add you green chilis. Let it stand for 3-5minutes then turn off heat. Serve with fried eggplant and rice.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Year of No Word

After more than a year of severely neglecting this blog, I've decided to 'resurrect' it. I have realized I should more diligent in keeping track of things...starting with this blog!

So what have happened in a year?
In November, Sofia got hospitalized for dehydration. Then days after that, I gave birth to our baby boy Mateo (I'll be sharing my birthing story soon).

December became so hectic because of relatives' visiting from Canada. We also spent our first Christmas and New Year in our new home. 

Come summertime, my mother-in-law visited us from Europe. My daughter also attended theater school. Then, towards the end of summer, we decided to go out of town for some R & R. 
My daughter started with Nursery last June and again I've been busy with her school activities left and right. She also had a Princess party back in July, which almost did not push thru cause my Lola (grandmother) died a few days before the party. 

This was my year (and more) in a nutshell. I promise to tell you more about this next time.


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