Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Movie Time with Chase: Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang

Hello Moms! I suddenly found myself running out of time to write, I still have posts on draft, and hopefully would soon be publishing them.But I just really want to write a quick post on this... I wanted to share this another movie I saw with Chase last night. Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang (2nd of the Nanny McPhee Titles) because Chase ♥ it & I did too!

One time or another, I realized that I wish for my very own Nanny McPhee..and then the story just tells us how to value family & friends. It just really tells us that we find strength in love ♥♥♥ . Remember!!! Nanny McPhee will stay when we need her but we don't want her; she will leave when we want her but we don't need her!  There so much to learn with needing & wanting! Sometimes we get clouded in what we really want vs. what we really need. There so much to learn in this movie...things that we sometimes take for granted!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

♥The Grandest Vacation Ever --California, USA 2010: SFO ♥

I'm so excited to write this series. It took me quite sometime to start it since I wanted to show a lot of the places we've been to, and there were hundreds of pictures to show. It was a 3-wk vacation in California, April 25 to May 18. We had to keep it at most 3 weeks because Chase was only on a month's leave from school. My husband had a scheduled trip to Mexico...and he decided to bring us a long, so we can sort of save on air fare since he will get his Manila-LAX trip for free, LAX being a stop over going to Mexico. But since we decided just months before, we could not really get a promo fare.It's just me & Chase who went to SFO. Then from SFO, we took the Southwest Airlines flight to Sacramento to Orange County to meet up with my husband & my sister in law. There's also so much to tell in our Los Angeles trip. We've been like Theme Park hoping. It was a fieldtrip for Chase! Overall, the trip was a blast! We ♥ every moment of it!
Chase overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge:-)


Do It Yourself (DIY) Party Ideas

I mentioned in my recent Children's Party Ideas post that me & my sister attended Basic Balloon Art Decorations. Eventually, I decided to register a business name under Curling Ribbons. But I haven't really have the heart to start it up or to set it up formally since the market where we live has limited opportunities for this. Maybe soon...but we did enjoy this by giving balloons as gifts to our friends and family.

So we do ♥ to party!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Studying and Doing Homework with a Pre-schooler

My son went to most level of preschool education as a Thinking Toddler (Nursery). It was not really a formal school but one that was a company provided/benefit -- a daycare in the office for the employees' children. The teacher & the facilities were more than adequate. It was more of a supervised play with kids about his age. Hence, nurturing his social development as well. It's also a way of reinforcing and supplementing his cognitive and language development we also provided him at home. I remembered his first ever homework...he needed to cut & paste pictures that starts with the letter "S". So, there goes my magazine collections, cutting Santa, Socks, Shoes, Slippers etc. We did it all! My husband, Chase's Ate (nanny) & Chase all helped out. It was like a family project. I remembered being excited about it!

And then came his Kindergarten class (Pre-K in an International School), we oohh,ahhs and wows on his work. I took pictures and proudly showed them around. More than us, Chase enjoyed going to school.

... And then came the occasional homework! If Chase has homework, it means I have too!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Random Things

Oh well! I just realized that I'll have a harder time telling Chase than my hubby that I'll be going our for a Friday Night Out bonding with friends. It will even appear that I'm asking permission from my soon to be 5 year old son. Interesting...♥ it!

Here is my list of amazing finds, rediscoveries and realizations...
  •  ROYGBIV stands for the color of the rainbow, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and last one's Violet...I can't seem to remember what is Indigo, my son went home from school telling me that Indigo is Blue Violet, so I googled Indigo just to be sure... Indigo is Blue Violet indeed!
  • Don't bother buying Nestea from the duty free, we got the best one here in the Philippines...the Litro Pack worth around Php 12 is the winning formula for a great tasting Iced Tea.It even won an innovation award in Switzerland! Enjoy it more with the Nestea Liter Shaker!
  • You can really Google Everything, no matter how verbatim it appears to be...it's best though to start your search with How.


Chase's 2nd Birthday with Disney Cars Theme

So I've been told that we do ♥ parties!


For Chase's 2nd B-Day, we went all out with Disney Cars Theme. This time we celebrated it in Manila with most of our San Antonio Village neighbors (mostly 4th Floor residents of AHM Properties), mostly by my Colgate Palmolive Friends and JB's Nestle Friends. We actually limited the guest list because of the small venue we rented out. But much to our happiness, we had quite a turn out of guests, even our friends from Angeles City. The Best Part was that Chase really enjoyed it!


Party Details

  • Invitations & Personalized Cans by Adworks Graphic Design: The cost versus getting them from Jelly Bellies was cheaper if by units. But in the end, since I was not really a regular client, meaning I'm not a registered business institurion/party store, the minimum orders were higher. Instead of the 30 pieces minimum from Jelly Bellies (which by the way is a client of Adworks that time), I had to get 50 pieces (if I got it right). This meant more budget being allocated to the invitations, which still worked better because instead of getting two designs/set of invitations like I did on the Justice League Party, I got relatively same number of invites to give out with some savings on the cost. The added benefit was that the design was original or customized vs. an allocated design per party stores. 

    • Disney Cars Cans - came with cover and design same as the invitation. These were nice to have since they seemed to be useful afterwards for putting toys, crayons etc. But since these were my makeshift Loot Bag, I really had to put a lot of stuff inside. :-) By the way, I think that the owner of Adworks in Manila are related to the Adworks in Angeles City....related but operated differently last I checked on the items and costings.
    •  Contact Person : Norman CruzAddress :Unit 103 Greenrich Mansion Cond., Pearl Drive, Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines, 1600Telephone No: (632) 636-5570, 497-2315Mobile No: (63917) 851-8866Fax No. : (632) 636-5570
    My Very Own Sephra Choco Fountain, Prizes & Loot Cans
    • Venue is Palladium Club House located along Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong : I got the indoor venue, which can only seat around 50 persons. It was almost a poolside venue, since the pool is overlooking by glass walls. It cost around P4000-P4500. I was able to negotiate to let me use the poolside area for the buffet table setup since we were the only one booked for that day. 
      • Some guidelines they implemented...the caterer needs to be approved by them. No cooking inside the air conditioned venue, hence for the buffet set-up outside instead. They required some deposit which was refundable after some charges if any. For us, they did charge us for additional chair rentals,sound system. (Even until now,the sound system is always an opportunity for me. Haay!)
      • The rental is for 3 hours, preparation time allotment is 2 hours before. Relatively enough time for a professional caterer, but not enough time for me as we did again the balloon decorations! 
      • They required submitting a guest list to the guard of the village. 
      • Location: Athena Loop, Palladium Subdivision, Shaw Blvd., cor. Old Wack-wack Road, Mandaluyong City
      • Contact Details: (02) 533-3048
    • Catering by Avengoza: That time we got a package for 50 adults and 30 children. From their package, you can actually change or choose from their current selections. Like if you don't like the vegetable dish, you can change it with something else within the same package. So in effect, I did enjoy their food. They were very also very accommodating and efficient! I informed them that I would be adding additional dish/food from their current (Our very own Pampanga's Sisig & Crabs in Cheesy Oriental Sauce, Yummy!) and they allocated a serving dish for them in the buffet table.
      • Room for improvements: I told them since I will not be availing their Kid's Package and would only get the food, if I could in turn get a discount on other services. So I did! I got the face painter with a reasonable cost! But my clown hosts were Filipino Speakers even when I clearly requested for a English Speaker Host! :-( (Background: I'm Kapampangan, my husband speaks Hiligaynon/Ilonggo,  our neighbors speak tagalog, overall we got Chase totally confused! So we decided to speak only to him in English so as not to confused him any further! It works!) So I recommend, looking for a English Speaker Clown Host personally, and taking time to talk to the host, verifying it before the event. I haven't found out one yet, will let you know though. Remember that, a clown hosts cost differs from a Theme Host. The cost for a Theme Host is more expensive. 
      • The Cake Gazebo could not appeal to some. Though at that time I sort of like it, but looking at it now, it sort of took a lot of space and minimized the impact of the cake. Personally, I now preferred a simple cake table. 
      • I didn't like their centerpiece balloons. If only I had enough time, I would have made the centerpieces myself. I should had asked for flowers instead. I personally like Qualatex Balloons for indoor setup. The ones they used "oxidized" fast! :-(
      • Contact them: http://www.avengoza.com/
    • Cake by Layers & Layers by Arlene:  I ♥ Cakes by Arlene! The designs are really nice and she can really do character cakes, lollipops, and cupcakes. Best of all, the cost is very reasonable, well at least that time. There was an opportunity for the taste of the cake itself, with it being not as moist or chocolaty, given my husband's high standard. But we told them about it, so the next time we got our cakes from her (Chase's 3rd, my nephew's 2nd birthday), we mentioned that to please make the cake extra special. ;-) 
      • The cupcakes and the lollies served as additional tokens for the guests. I recommend this versus getting a 2 or 3 layered cake, which most likely would end up in your refrigerator since guests wouldn't really stay that long to eat it. Plus the additional set of plates and dessert forks needed to serve it. 
      • Located: 11 West Caitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
      • Website: http://cakesbyarlene.blogspot.com
    Round Character Cake, Cupcakes with Toppers, & Lollies
    •  Disney Cars Theme: Again, thanks to our Auntie Millie in the states and to my sister in law, we were able to enjoy US Disney Cars items. We have theme plates, cups,cutlery sets, Disney Cars Pencils, Ballpens, Crayons, Diary, Toys etc. Toy Trucks/Cars in the cake table were also gifts from them.
    • Chase with Dad & Mom
      • Disney Cars other items I got from department stores and some in Divisoria. There were a lot of items available for Disney Cars. Locally, there are theme plates, cups, balloons, etc. almost available everywhere. Even the character shop in Greenhills. 
      • To make it more fun, and to make up for the lack luster performance of the clown hosts, I gave out a lot of Theme Souvenirs to the kids and even to our adult guests. I also made my own  "Pick a Prize" via "Pabunot"/Draw Lot style to make it more exciting for the kids. The balloons had corresponding numbers inside and so were the prizes, so in a bowl, kids get to draw a number, get their balloon, and pop it to know the corresponding prize. 
      • For the Balloons, too bad, me & my sister, were not that successful on this one. We had too little time to prepare for bringing things to the venue, setting up the other items, etc. The two hour time was not enough to make pillars, centerpieces, even the imported foil character balloons, didn't stand a chance on having been inflated hurriedly. Only one of them survived, the big 2 balloon at the cake table. Worse, given the time pressure of the venue, I indicated in the invitation that the party would start promptly at 11am...too bad! Our first visitors arrive with me not still ready. Oh well! :-)
     Most important thing was that we loved this party! Chase enjoyed it so much! It was I think his first ever real memory of a party for him! ♥♥♥


    Get yours now at Amazon! ♥♥♥





    Thursday, July 8, 2010

    My Happiness Song -- Pink Life

    "Pink Life" by Gyskard is my ultimate happiness song.Truly,deeply love this song! It definitely puts me in a happy and positive mood. It's my ultimate perk-me up song. I feel that I can do anything as long as I put my heart into it. It reinforces feeling good about myself and about everything in my life.Sad things do happen, what's important is the accepting and the moving on part. So truly, that if you want to be happy, feel and think happy! Secret Baby! ♥♥♥


    "Always follow what's in your heart
    Always listen to what's inside
    Alway's fly high & don't come down
    And don't come (down)

    Don't push yourself far over the limit
    Push your mind ahead with your spirit
    Push it where you never thought you could go right
    And never come down"

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Totally Awesome Toy Story 3! E! Review: Toy Story 3 Is Terrific—What Did You Expect?

    I had a movie date with Chase last week. He was actually rushing me to get ready and to watch Toy Story 3. I got an advice though from my sister that the 3D effect was not worth it...so I made Chase a deal that we will not watch it in 3D, I will just get him a toy right after. He agreed! :-) So with Chef Tony's White Cheddar Popcorn, we cherished the movie! Chase was laughing so hard on the funny parts especially when Buzz started speaking Spanish! On the sad parts especially on the last part, I was trying to control my sobbing...hahaha.:-) I kept blowing my nose. Chase just told me that he was happy on the other parts, and was sad as well on the sad parts. Well, I guess, it really got the best of the cry baby in me! :-)

    Celebrating the First Birthday --Justice League Theme

    Birthday is a special time to celebrate one's existence and acknowledge God's gift of  life to us. As a Catholic, our birthday celebration starts first by going to the church as sign of thanksgiving. We also light a candle to symbolize this another milestone. And then we party!

    So for Chase's big first, we tried to really go out of our way to make it special.

    JD Chase's 1st Birthday with daddy JB & Mommy Des

    What's in my Baby Bag?

    Travelling with one's child, either on nearby mall, out of town, or out of the country should not be taken lightly. Just when I thought I can travel really light by bringing only baby wipes when going to the mall with my son, I suddenly found myself rushing to the kid's clothes section to get a change of clothing for him, when he accidentally got drenched with a glass of pineapple juice. One can never be too sure! Below is my evolution & progressive list of must bring and must haves in my baby/diaper bag.

    Avent Back Pack Front, Back with Zipper
    AVENT BACK PACK from infant to date


    Chase's Baby Bag is actually a gift from my sis in law. I saw it in SM Megamall and I love it! I requested it as a Baby Shower Gift from her. Since its a Back Pack, your hands are actually free to hold my son. The practical features are the back opening for easy access, the bottom has space for soaps, etc. and a diaper changing pad. It has also a side compartment that ensures bottle formula stays warm. It's lightweight and very easy to clean. The color is also daddy-friendly! And as you can see, it's very durable! Definitely your money's worth!


    Get yours now in Amazon. 

    Dealing with Excess Baggage on Air Travel

    For me, shopping is still the best part and my most anticipated activity when travelling out of town and out of the country via Air Travel. I still like to buy Butterscotch in Iloilo even with only savings of P10/pack vs. buying it in Marquee Mall Gaisano Supermarket. Or buying fruits or fish in Cagayan de Oro, only to experience an excess baggage and to be charged around P100/kg. More challenging is when travelling with one's child, either toddler or pre-schooler, when they can't really carry their own hand carry luggage and almost half of your baggage allowance is eaten up for their things, food and other items. Let me walk you through the reality of Airline Baggage Allowance.

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    About Me

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    Wifey to JB and Mommy to Chasey :) It's said that one's eyes are windows to one's soul. True! My eyes twinkle when I'm happy, they light up with my smile. I’m no frills! I'm easy to read (except during Poker). I easily get teary eyed on practically both happy and sad things. I'm overly emotional! UP,Toy Story 3, and Glee made me cry with delight.My hubby is my source of strength. He balances that side of my personality. He made me a more self-reliant person.I love being a mom. But be it known that I tend to be OC, paranoid, and definitely see my self as a stage mom.I can't help but throw him parties every year.I love to read. If there is a lifetime membership to Book Lover's Club, I've probably signed in as early as Grade 1. I'm blessed to have a special relationship with God. He is my confidante. I practically talked to him anywhere and anytime about anything. I'm a Kapampangan and supposedly known for having culinary skills.This still needs to be found perfected, but for sure, I can say I'm a gourmand!I love to eat and it shows!Oh well!Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder and Happiness is only a state of mind. From today onwards, I intend to live in a Happy Mode!Cheers!