Foodie Friday: Easy Oven-Roasted Lechon Kawali

This is just the third time I made lechon kawali and I can't believe how simple yet consistently succulent it is every time. Now, I'm already confident to share this super easy recipe -- easy talaga, no exaggeration, so you can also make this at home and serve to your families. I'll keep this very short and simple and let the pictures do the talking.

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How Kids can Learn Through Play with Ogalala

"If they can't learn the way we teach, we teach the way they learn." That's coming from child development expert O. Ivar Lovaas. Being a parent-teacher, it's a continuous struggle for me to effectively teach and tutor my kids. Coming up with creative ways for the kids to learn will be easier if I have the right set of tools and materials for them. As I recently discovered, Ogalala can help parents like me in that department.

A multi-brand System in Play that integrates fun into learning, Ogalala carefully selects the world’s top branded educational tools from Crayola, Melissa & Doug, Artec, Animal Planet, Discovery Kids, and now The Leaning Journey, which all contribute to your child’s physical, intellectual, social, and emotional development.

I often pass by the Ogalala store in Shangri-la East Wing and I thought they're just a kids' clothing store. Last June, I was invited to their bloggers and kids playdate and was very pleased to learn that Ogalala carry so many familiar brands that I buy for my own kids.

The name is so unique, no? It was derived from ogallala (noun. - oh-ga-la-la), an ancient Native American term for an underwater irrigation system. During the event, we got to know more about the System in Play and how the well-curated brands can help us provide a fun learning experience for our kids.

Ogalala carries leading children's global brands and aims to support parents in bringing happiness and fulfillment to their children. Ogalala believes that play and creativity enables kids to enjoy learning and to love life. Before buying learning tools and teaching our kids, we should first know how they learn. There are several tests that you can take online for your and your kids.

What kind of learner is my child?
  • Auditory Learner
  • Visual Learner
  • Kinesthetic Learner

Why it's important to know about the learning style of our children:
  • Know how my child takes in information
  • Know how to best teach our child
  • Select the appropriate materials

By teaching the way they learn will make learning more enjoyable and help retain concepts better.

Here are a few ways and types of materials to match their learning style, made easy by Ogalala:

Ogalala prepared activity areas for the kids to to try and experience many of the toys and learning tools they carry. One of the most popular brand among the kids and adults is Crayola.

We all grew up with Crayola, and it just amazes me how much of our imagination and creativity we are able to use with basic crayons, paper, and markers. Crayola’s toys and activity kits, washable markers, and a myriad of paint and coloring products provide unlimited sensory play and learning.

At Ogalala, you can build your own box of crayons by picking out individual colors that you like! Don't you just hate it when your box is missing a color or you're left with a few broken pieces? This is the answer. I love the concept!

I've spotted more interesting and educational toys for the little and big kids, like these animal floor puzzles and wooden puzzles.

Melissa & Doug’s wooden educational toys are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. These can provide hours of fun while helping kids hone their fine motor skills, color recognition, and basic mathematic concepts.

My kids grew up with Baby Einsteins and Little Einsteins. The books, videos, and flash cards helped improve their vocabulary and introduced them to various topics from art, sciences to music. There's something for every type of learner here.

For my visual and kinesthetic learners who love to build and experiment, Artec Hands-on projects will help them get creative like making their own microscope, rocket, and lie detector machine, among others. Ein-O-Science experiment kits are perfect introduction materials to learn about chemistry, physics or geology. 

For the kid explorers out there, there are exciting stuff from Animal Planet and Discovery Kids. The popular TV shows now have toys that can spark our children's curiosity about the world and the larger universe. Check out Discovery Kids’ binoculars, telescopes, and planetarium, and collect the realistic creatures of the wild with Animal Planet figures.

From the first photo on top, you'll see how fascinated my boy was with the large dino skeleton, so I bought him a smaller model of the T-Rex.

I love the philosophy of Ogalala where the purpose of each item is for education and enjoyment. In fact, my kids already have old toys by some of the brands they carry. The T-rex is the newest from Ogalala. I'm really impressed with the selection in Ogalala and now I don't have to go to different stores just to look for learning toys for my children and for gifts. Ogalala is a one-stop-shop for discerning parents and curious kids.

Visit Ogalala boutique: 4/F East Wing of Shangri-La Plaza Mall
Get product and promo updates at Ogalala on www.facebook.com/OgalalaWorld.
SALE! This week only, P400 Off on selected Animal Planet products from June 29 to July 5!

Ogalala is a branded System in Play developed by Internationale Globale Marques Inc. (IGM), distributor, manufacturer, and licensee of leading children’s global brands for the past 30 years. Taking its cue from play and parenting insights that integrate learning to play, Ogalala’s Play and Learn System develops the physical, intellectual, social, and emotional skills of a child from birth to 12 years. Know more about Ogalala at www.oga-lala.com.

I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it!
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Mom-Finds: Herschel Settlement Youth Backpack for My Boy

Most kids are now carrying backpacks to school, unless a standard stroller bag is required for their load. There are so many styles and designs available in the market, and it ain't easy to pick one. Buti nalang when it comes to bags, my kids and I go for basic styles. As long as it's sturdy, reasonably priced, and they like the design, they have the final say. 

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My Bedtime Ritual and What Helps Me Fall Asleep

I am not a morning person. My family and friends know that about me. I have been that way since I was still studying. Somehow, my productivity starts by mid-morning, peaks by late afternoon until way past my bedtime. But what's my bedtime? It got crazy especially after I had kids. I know I still need my 8 hours, coz if I don't, you'll be talking to a "zombie  mom" with memory gaps along the way, heehee!

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Family Staycation at Ascott Makati, Day 2

A week before Father's Day, we had an enjoyable family staycation in a serviced residence. It was unique and memorable since we really felt like home in our 2-bedroom unit. The Ascott residences offers luxurious 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom apartments as well as studio units to cater to traveling individuals and families.

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How Childhood Trauma Affects Relationships and Parenting

What has happened to me when I was young?
What is trauma?
What are the symptoms and consequences of trauma?
These were just some of the questions posed before the audience, mostly parents, during the recent talk of visiting psychotraumatic therapist Christine Foong-Wong. It was both scary and enlightening at the same time. One blog post is not enough to cover everything so let me just share with you some eye-openers for me.

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Shop for School, Back to Cool and Get Rewards

Are you done shopping for your kids' school needs? If you do your shopping at The SM Store like me, then all the more reason for us to shop and send our kids back to school in style, then get rewarded for it! SM is running their Win Back Your Tuition promo, as well as #SMBackToCool Instagram giveaway.

This is fantastic news for us moms, right? With the tuition fees and other expenses adding up for school needs, learning about rewards like these is enough incentive to be a smart shopper. Thanks to SM for tapping me to share this good news here on the blog. We still have until the end of June to continue our back-to-school shopping for the kids. =)

Yesterday, I went to SM Megamall with the kids coz everything we need is there. The girl will start 2nd grade by the end of this month so we got a new pair of black mary janes from Sugar Kids. That's her new pair at the bottom left.

If you have tweens and teens, there are endless choices in the Teens section for comfy apparel.
This slip-on dress is comfy, chic, and will never go out of style. In and out of the campus, little girl will surely shine.

My boy naman will continue his homeschooling so he won't be wearing any uniform. But he still needs cool kicks and casual clothes for his extra curricular activities and group classes. We'll be going back to buy him more walking shorts and pullovers like this below, kasi mahilig sya sa long sleeved tees. Ginawin kasi, and they're also perfect for this rainy season.

Your schoolboy will look effortlessly adorable in this basic pullover-shorts-sneakers ensemble on any given day.

Make this academic year memorable and unique with these novelty school items available at The SM Store.

We all need notebooks and supplies, and SM has them all, and in super cute and chic designs too! Here's the boy, checkin out the quirky prints on the notebook covers.

From fashion finds to cute accessories and supplies, our practical shopping destination has always been SM.  Now, we can get rewarded for shopping!

Win Back Your Tuition Promo
Get the chance to instantly win back tuition fees of up to PhP100,000 as well SM Store Gift Passes worth P100. 

How To Join:
  • Incur a minimum single-receipt purchase of PhP2,000 at any The SM Store branch
  • Use any Philippine-issued BDO MasterCard credit, debit or prepaid card
  • Shop until June 30, 2015
  • Valid entries guaranteed for a chance to win

The SM Store also has an ongoing #SMBackToCool Instagram giveaway
Click here for complete mechanics on how join!
Be sure to follow @theSMStore on: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for more details and regular updates.

For more information, visit www.thesmstore.com.

Hurry and shop, shop, shop until June 30 to qualify for the #shopforschool promos!

I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it! 
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Fun Friday: Father's Day Staycation at Ascott Makati, Day 1

Third Friday of the month: Celebration / Recreation / Leisure

It's Father's Day weekend so before anything else, I'd like to greet all you dads out there a very HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! This greeting goes out to my own papa, to my brother, and to my dear husband J as well just for being great dads! Let's celebrate! =)

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First Art Exhibit of The Boy and The Girl

Two weekends ago, the TMA Summer Art Class had their exhibit at Galerie Stephanie as their culminating activity. The students all did amazingly well and the families went to support them. I have to say I am a very proud, thankful and happy mom to have a boy and a girl who are both artistically inclined. Drawing has been a hobby for them since they were preschoolers. After years of asking them to take art lessons, they finally did it together this summer.

It's actually my frustration to learn how to paint. I want them to learn too, so I can display their artwork at home. But through the years, they continue with their pencil drawings even if they were introduced to watercolor, oil pastels and markers. You can see some of their works with the hashtag I created for them: #ArtOfJandM. See how the boy's "teapot from a different dimension" project turned out below.

The girl took basic art classes two summers ago, while the boy never continued after a few trial classes. He got bored. Their recent summer art class with TMA, which will be credited to the boy's homeschool art subject, got them together for the first time, and was a promising step towards taking more art classes.  Check out the progress of their self-portraits above. =)

The kids were fortunate that they were taught by contemporary abstractionists, Camille Ver. With over 10 years of being a professional artist, she guided the kids on creating their own masterpieces, shared a bit of art history, and exposed them to different materials.

From the classroom to the gallery, it was a very enriching experience for my kids and myself (coz I'm the one bringing them to class every week, and sometimes, I stay in the room for the whole session). At the exhibit, all the kids' works were displayed, with their portraits professionally framed.

First was their name in art, followed by their self-portrait, then their interpretation of summer, and at the bottom is their perspective and rendition of the teapots. That's Camille standing beside M's works.

Each of them had four artworks that they can sell or keep. Teacher Camille pegged the prices at PhP500 each, except for the frame portrait which was priced at PhP750.

Of course, the kids had mixed feelings since they don't want to part with their "creations" daw, but were tempted at the prospects of earning from their work.

The boy used mainly primary colors for his art. His sister said he looks like an old man! Hahahaha! I think it's the glasses. =)

Can you still spot the dragon from his initial sketch? 

My girl uses all bright and sunny colors for her artworks. I was actually surprised she used pink for the background on the last one.  She said she's over pink already and wanted to try other colors. I guess she'll always love pink.

Here are the kids, checking out their classmates' works.

The exhibit showcased works from the younger kids too.

Before the end of the program, the boy "sold" his pieces to the grannies and the girl sold hers to daddy. Each of their sets were sold for a package price of PhP2,000. They were assured that their artwork will stay at home, so they took the tempting offer and bought a toy from their "profit" before we headed home, hahahaha! =)

All I can say is that the kids had a wonderful experience and wanted to attend more classes. I have no objections. =) 

Here they are with their certificates from the TMA class coordinator. Thanks, teacher Camille, for being patient with the makulit kids. =) You can view some of Camille's amazing works here in Galerie Stephanie's site. 

I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it!
Get instant updates:
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I try my best to reply and answer any questions you may have on each entry so check back if you've left one. Thank you and do visit again!
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