Fun Friday: Halloween Costumes Flashback

Third Friday of the month: Events / Celebrations / Halloween

It's mid-October and we're already seeing tons of fun, cute, scary costumes for halloween on display. Back in the day, we never made a big deal out of halloween -- in fact, we never celebrated it. It was only until I had kids and they started school that they had halloween parades. Naturally, they went to school in costume. We are just so lucky to have relatives abroad who are so generous and thoughtful to send the kids cool costumes to wear. I never really made much effort to dress them up and tried to keep things simple. Same as the halloweens past, this year's costumes will probably be a replay.

As they look forward to upcoming halloween parties, I looked back at how they dressed up before. It's flashback Friday for me once again as I reminisce, and delight at how they've grown and changed through the years -- in their halloween costumes.

Can you name all their characters? =)
(Click on photo for full story,)





2013 (reused costumes)

The girl have not decided if she'll be Elsa (our own gown design up top), or take 3 with Cleopatra. For the boy, it's gonna be his trusty old Harry Potter robe and specs.

I hope you found some inspiration from their characters here and create (buy) your own costumes -- adults and kids alike! Two more weeks to go before halloween weekend. Have fun dressing up! =)

More halloween costumes for kids:

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Mom-Friday Homeschool Conversations - 10.14.2014

We're in our Q2 (second quarter) of homeschooling and I am still feeling the pressure, the adjustments (the boy is more adjusted than me!), and struggling with ways to teach and think outside the box. I guess I still have not shaken off the mindset of teaching methods in conventional schooling and comparing with the progress of other kids in his level. 

As we attack each week, with a combination of enthusiasm and trepidation, I have come to appreciate the flexibility of our schedule. The best part is having the time and opportunity for my boy to enjoy moments of discoveries, and indulge in his unique interests.

Getting started with coding and game creations
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Home-Style: 53 Benitez - Rockwell Primaries Pops Up at SM Megamall

It's been ages since I had a Home-Style post.  I miss featuring fine home interiors and design. Well, I got lucky and was able to visit a luxe condo unit just yesterday. This Home-Style post will be slightly different since there is no home owner here, but you can actually see the interiors of the property. My blogger friends and I were invited to view Manila’s first ever 1-bedroom pop-up model unit at SM Megamall by Rockwell Primaries, a subsidiary of Rockwell Land. It was quite a unique experience, being toured right in the middle of a mall, but feeling like you're in an actual condo unit! =)  Scroll down and see what I mean.

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Foodie Friday: Dreaming of Duck & Buvette's Duck Confit

First Friday of the month:  Food Finds / Dining

I can't believe I haven't written about any of my gastronomic adventures for over a year! If you've been a regular here on the blog, you know I share simple recipes almost every month. But I'm a foodie at heart and so you'll often see most of what I'm eating over at my Instagram and other social network sites instead. I realized I'm just not so fond of featuring dining establishments. You'll get plenty of that from many food bloggers around. From time to time, there are a few stand-out meals that I just can't get out of my mind, even weeks after I've digested them! This particular Duck Confit is one of those very memorable dishes that I'd gladly make space for in this blog.

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Save More with Electrolux Inverter Type Appliances

When we moved to our current home six years ago, all our furniture and major appliances were brand new.  The main considerations for choosing the pieces we bought were durability and long-term savings, even if it means spending a little more. My husband and I believe in investing in the right appliances for our home so we can save on maintenance and cost of utilities in the long run.

At that time of our move, the inverter technology was the sought-after energy-efficiency feature being introduced in selected aircon and refrigerator models. These are the most used and high-energy-consuming must-have appliances in our home, aside from the television, heehee. =) There were only a handful of brands offering inverter types then, and one of them is Electrolux. We eventually decided to buy this 2-door, 18cu. Electrolux refrigerator, which fits perfectly in our kitchen. It's the ideal size and capacity for our space and needs, and to this day, we have not encountered any problems with it.

Electrolux has been a trusted brand in home appliances, so no doubt in its quality. What amazed us even more was the savings in our monthly electric bill. You see, when we were renting a townhouse half the size of our current house, our electrical consumption is close to what we consume now. The conventional appliances literally eats up more energy/electricity compared with our new inverter-type ref and aircon units! Our electric bill then and now is almost the same, even if we are in a bigger place using more appliances.

We also contemplated on getting a washer/dryer then, or at least a dryer, since we don't have enough space to hang-dry the laundry. Well, we are still holding off on getting one, but I have my eyes on this handsome looking Electrolux Time Manager Washer and Dryer. I've heard positive feedback about their washers so I'm happy that the brand tapped me to share their amazing fabric care line here on the blog. They have several models to choose from depending on your needs.  This top of the line front loading washer-dryer unit doesn't come cheap at PhP50K+.  So for now, it's on my wish list!

I know that with the right laundry partner, we'll be saving time, effort, and money by letting us do more in one go.  Here are some special features why I like this Electrolux Time Manager front load washer/dryer model:
  • Customizable wash times and temperatures; with digital indicator
    • saves on water and electricity
  • Load Sensor - recommends right amount of water and detergent per load
  • Refresh program - uses Vapour Action to relax fibers and steam out wrinkles on clothes = saves time and energy from ironing
  • Extra wide door
  • Quiet Inverter motor - energy efficient, noise reduction feature, quicker wash cycles
  • Comes in 7kg and 10kg models, in a sleek, white with silver finish
Check the full features and specs of this front load washer/dryer EWW14012 model here.
Here's another model, a 10kg front load washing machine, EWF12022.

Watch this short video to see how an inverter motor works in a washing machine.

Again, I wanna stress on the benefits of long term savings from choosing and investing in the right energy-efficient appliances for your home. Buy the best you can afford.

For more info on Electrolux washing machines and promos, visit facebook.com/thelittlewhitebook.
Follow @ElectroluxPH on Twitter and Instagram.

On a side note, beyond their premium line of washing machines, there's more to love about Electrolux. I'd like to tell you about their Delightful-E Simple to Share annual clothes donation drive. Electrolux aims to collect, and then wash your donated pre-loved clothes for calamity-stricken survivors. Also, in partnership with Gawad Kalinga’s Trese, unusable donated clothes will be transformed into quilts for newborns from orphanages and other communities. This is sharing beyond donating clothes. “Through Delightful-E Simple, we hope to mark the difference between giving and sharing. For when we share, we freely impart a piece of ourselves—our time, effort, and concern. Hence, we are able to give more,” explains Andrea Pionilla, Marketing Manager of Electrolux Philippines

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: Ethnic Inspired Fashion Pieces

Last Friday of the month:  Finds and Faves / Shopping

It's been a while since I shared some fashion finds, and now I have four.  Here are ethnic-inspired pieces I recently acquired. They certainly add some spice to my pretty basic and casual wardrobe. They even match and complete a whole ensemble!
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Download E-Books and E-Magazines from Buqo App with SMART

I haven't been able to regularly buy magazines for the past few years, mainly because I now spend more time in front of the computer. Thus, I get to read informative and entertaining materials off the internet, and also from my tablet and mobile phone. Good news for people like me, Smart Communications recently tied-up with Summit Media to offer subscribers easier access to e-books and e-magazines with Buqo app and pay with Smart!

I was actually excited to get the Buqo app immediately since I can now get copies of some of the Summit mags I used to buy, like Yes!, Preview, Yummy, and Good Housekeeping.  I simply charge it to my Smart postpaid account on an android phone.  It's that easy!  Have I convinced you yet?

First, what is Buqo?
Buqo is a mobile bookstore, newsstand, and reader app all rolled into one.
It's currently available for both Android and iOS users.

Sample screen shot - browse, choose, buy, pay with Smart

What I like about the Smart-Summit-Buqo collab:
  • Quick and easy download of e-books or e-magazines via Buqo app
  • Browse, choose a publication, add to cart, check
  • Any Smart subscriber (currently for Android units) can easily download and buy Summit publications:
    • Pay using Smart Prepaid load or charge to your Smart Postpaid bill - this is the best part, 'coz it's so convenient!
    • No need for a credit card
  • With Buqo, no need to lug around heavy books and magazines when on the road or traveling
    • Read books and mags anytime, anywhere -- from a smartphone or tablet
    • Access to top Summit Media publications, like: Yes! Magazine, Preview, Candy Magazine, Esquire Philippines, and more
How cool is that?! And there's more -- Smart will soon offer special rates and deals for books and magazines that will be exclusively available to Smart subscribers. Yey!!!

The Buqo mobile app with Smart operator billing is currently available for Android devices. 
Click here for a simple step-by-step: http://smart.com.ph/buqo.

Download Buqo app now! Buy your e-books and e-mags with your Smart load or bill and enjoy reading on your mobile devices.

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: Adventures Around the Philippines

Third Friday of the month:  Leisure / Recreation / Travel

My girl inspired this post, and it's actually a "flashback Friday" feature. M started asking questions about different places around the Philippines last week -- I guess it's related to their current lesson in social studies. I can't recall what our conversation was but it led to her asking about the underground river with bats. I knew she was referring to the subterranean river in Palawan. I told her I've been there. She got really interested so I took out my albums and shared my local travels with her.

She said she wants to go here too and explore the cave. The boy want's to ride a boat and experience being out at sea.  Oh I pray we can get to go on an adventure soon!
St. Paul Subterranean River National Park - Puerto Princesa, Palawan 

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Family Friday: Fridate, Saturdate, Sundate

Second Friday of the month:  Parenting / Kids

"Time is the most valuable gift we can give our kids -- or anyone. Money and things are soon gone. But memories and feelings of love can last a lifetime. Care about kids enough to spend time with them." - Dr. Glen C. Griffin

I planned to publish my Family Friday post tonight, but at the last minute, I decided to dump the original topic and share this with you instead. My girl said something during dinner that struck me, and made me change my post.

We did not plan on dining out tonight but J thought we can just head over to a nearby resto after we do the groceries. So, it was an early dinner for us and after everyone was finished eating, out of the blue, she hugged me and said, "I like days like this when I can spend time with my family... it's fun, it makes me happy!" (My heart melts.)

It's another hectic Friday, as usual, and it's moments like these that take away all the stress for us parents. After she told me how happy she is, I replied with a smile and told her I love our family dates too, just as I enjoy my date with each one of them, or with the whole family including the grannies.

You know, it's actually my favorite random family activity -- our impromptu "dates", dining out, whenever we feel like it during the week. It's different from our traditional Sunday family day with my parents and the cousins. These spur-of-the-moment "dates" are refreshing. It's a break from the monotony of our daily routine. It can be a movie date, quick trips to the grocery store with the whole family, then finding ourselves going for snacks somewhere nearby. Some days, it's as simple as going to a bookstore, the playground, or even the convenience store.


Why are family dates important to us?
  • It a great way to take a break and just be together = bonding time
    • Doing nothing together counts too
  • A chance to talk about anything - no matter how mundane or out of this world, whatever they like to share, what they see around them
  • We get moments for serious and philosophical conversations with them, especially with J - he's really good with sharing values and other life lessons to them
    • The kids are more receptive to teaching moments and listening to family stories during these times
  • Just to get out of the house, have a change of environment and recharge
    • Try out a new place, or indulge their cravings and enjoy their favorite dishes
    • A good time to catch up with what the kids are doing

Most of our quick family dates are unplanned, whether it's on a weekend. It's always a welcome surprise, and the kids get really excited when J asks them if they'd like to eat out or go somewhere, or even just to buy pet food! Simple pleasures. I think it's what makes it special.

Do you have family dates? How and where do you spend them? =)

I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it!
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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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Blogs, Brands and Bloggers

"Social media is your family and friends without boundaries of time and space." That's coming from well-respected journalist and Rappler.com CEO, Maria Ressa, during last month's round table discussion (starstruck moment) with her and a few of my fellow SoMoms. We talked about about ethics in social media, relationship with brands, opened up on good and bad practices, our values and personal experiences as bloggers / online publishers, and how we can be a responsible netizen and a positive influence through our presence on social media. Blogging is not that simple after all.

In line with what Maria said, I believe that a blog is an extension of the blogger's lifestyle and personality. This is my own personal space in the world wide web where I get to communicate and engage with people around the globe, connect and keep in touch with friends and family. My blog always reflects my values and interests. 

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Foodie Friday: Binagoongang Baboy (Pork-Bagoong Stew)

First Friday of the month:  Mom-Cook / Recipe

Ahhh... bagoong. A popular Filipino condiment that's salty and has a pungent smell. Love it or hate it? I LOVE it. There's no middle ground here.  Bagoong is fermented krill (alamang) in salt, and turns to paste form.  We use it either as dipping sauce or mixed with meats and seafood, like this super easy ulam that's mainly flavored by bagoong.  For me, the default dish using pork belly (liempo) is adobo. This binagoongang baboy is my alternative to adobo. Both simple, but packs a lot of flavor. Very Pinoy!

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Mom-Finds: Things for Home and Travel, for Moms and Kids

Last Friday of the month: Finds and Faves / Shopping

It's the last Friday and last weekend of August. I can't believe the holidays is just a few months away, then shopping frenzy once again! So, before we enter the "ber" months on Monday, here's a round-up of some really wonderful Mom-Finds I've discovered and collected over the past several weeks, from home to travel items.

BUILT Kitchen Line: Oven Mitt and Mini Grip Holder
Sizzler Over Mitt (right) @ PhP 1,195  /  Mini Grip @ PhP 595
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