8.29.2014

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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8.26.2014

How to Make Oreo Bento Meals

Making bento for the first time was tedious, but fun. I can't think of any other word to describe how our Better Me session went yesterday -- it's just pure fun! My girl would agree with me too. The bonding activity was something different, creative, exciting, and pretty edible! =)  I'm too eager to share with you how we crafted our first #OreoBento meals, so here's a simple tutorial with tips and tricks I picked up from the workshop.


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8.22.2014

Freestyle Friday: Hooked on Reformer Pilates at Onelife Studio

Freestyle Friday:  Health and Fitness

We have an extra Friday again this month, so it's Freestyle Friday and anything goes! Today, I'm sharing my new fitness discovery -- Reformer Pilates at Onelife Studio.

It was 1998 when I first heard about pilates. I hit the gym twice a week with my co-workers then and pilates was being offered in the same location as Bramante gym.  All I knew then was that it's a different method of exercise using a unique type of equipment, mainly to stretch and strengthen the body. It did not appeal to us since we saw mostly "older" women, or moms attending the class, hehehehe! Of course, we were younger then and all we wanted to do was weight training exercises to tone our bodies.  And now, it's my turn doing pilates! :p


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8.20.2014

Tech News from a Techie Dummy: #Smart5G is Here!

I am active on social media, but I don't consider myself tech-savvy. I'm not even fond of gadgets, save for my smart phones, iPad, and digital cameras. It's embarrassing to say, but if you ask me what 3G, 4G, 5G or LTE stand for, I'll give you a blank stare...hehehehe! In short, I am a tech and gadget dummy. I easily get intimidated with techie terms and oblivious to brands and the latest innovations. I'm the last one to care about tech-related news.

Here's a little back story. As you know, Smart Communications is my blog sponsor and I'm so grateful for their support.  But you wouldn't believe how surprised I am when they tapped me 'coz I never thought they'd consider a non-techie blog (blogger)! But I'm really happy they want moms like me to be able to share our experience with Smart's services and be the bearer of good news as well. 

And speaking of news, I don't normally post press releases here, but please forgive me 'coz I really can't write tech stuff and I don't want to misinterpret any of the information here.  So, allow me to share the official announcement from Smart as they launch their 5G LTE-Advanced in the country. Trust me, this is really fantastic news for all of us who are main consumers of wireless services. We want it faster, and better!

Two years after it pioneered the deployment of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) or 4G technology in the country, wireless services leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) announced that 5G wireless technology LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), is now running in the Philippines’ largest and strongest network.
Smart switched on LTE-A at the Smart Jump Center in Mandaluyong City recently, setting the next phase of mobile communication technology beyond 4G LTE standards.
LTE-A, also referred to as ‘5G’ by reports on leading global mobile operators AT&T and T-Mobile, delivers data from between 100 megabits per second (mbps) to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), or ten times faster than 3G services and more than twice as fast as 4G services.
By firing up LTE-A technology on its network, Smart joins only a handful of carriers around the world with an LTE-A network, along with leading mobile operators in South Korea, United States, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong. 
“Even as our 3G and 4G networks continue to be unrivaled, Smart becomes the first operator to leap into the future and put the Philippines at par with the world’s most advanced countries in terms of mobile communications technology,” said Orlando B. Vea, founder and Chief Wireless Advisor of Smart. 
With LTE-A, a 10MB file takes less than a second to download, YouTube videos no longer have to buffer, and video calls are almost lag-free. But beyond speed, LTE-A’s main feature is also its capability to allocate more network resources to users when the need arises. Smart started testing LTE-A across the country in August last year, delivering results of more than 100Mbps in Makati City, in Boracay, and in Davao City during the Kadayawan festival.
 
Ramon Isberto, Public Affairs head for Smart and its parent company the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), said that the recent development is part of the company’s multi-pronged approach in addressing the various needs for internet and data services in the market.  “The PLDT Group’s strategy has always been to create solutions that address the varying needs of all segments of our customers, to bring fixed, wireless and mobile broadband services where they really matter. They may be delivered at different speeds and volumes, using a variety of technologies, and meant to respond to a wide range of needs of the market – but all of it is aimed at bringing the benefits of the internet to every Filipino,” explained Isberto. 
This strategy meant deploying a combination of Fiber-to-the-Home, Next Generation Network, Time-Division Duplex LTE, Frequency-Division Duplex LTE and vDSL to bring internet to every Filipino home, and 3G, 4G, and 5G or LTE-A for mobile subscribers, according to Isberto.  “We are able to deliver all these high-bandwidth services and applications on the strength of our transmission backbone network, which is the most extensive and most resilient in the country. Aside from allowing us to commit to speed, our unmatched network resources give us the edge in terms of efficiency and reliability,” added Isberto.
Smart’s nationwide coverage is backed by PLDT’s fiber optic cable connection which has now reached nearly 90,000 kilometers, or more than four times than competition. To further strengthen this domestic fiber optic network (DFON), PLDT also set up third legs in its fiber loops in key areas nationwide, the latest of which is the Bohol DFON project that provided redundant links between the Visayas and Mindanao.


I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it!
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8.15.2014

Fun Friday: K-Palette's 1Day Magic Party

Third Friday of the month:  Party / Events

I missed going to blogger events. Since late last year, I have not been as visible in media and blogger functions mainly because we don't have a nanny for the kids anymore. And then there's homeschooling.  If you're in a similar set-up, you would understand that it's not easy to just leave them and go. That's why I decided to have this feature under Fun Friday instead of Mom-Finds since being at the launch of K-Palette 1Day Magic was more fun for me than anything else.  I wasn't even sure to go when I got the invitation, but it's a blessing that it fell on a holiday, so I excitedly confirmed my attendance.


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8.11.2014

Kid-Style: Best in Filipiniana 2014

Noong panahong ako ay isang mag-aaral, ipinadiriwang ang Linggo ng Wika tuwing buwan ng Agosto sa buong bansa. Ang paggamint ng wikang Filipino ay simbulo ng pagkakaisa sa pamamagitan ng komunikasyon. Ito ay isang pagkakataon upang ipagmalaki ang ating mayamang kultura at pagkakakilanlan. Mula 1997, ang dating Pangulong Fidel Ramos ay gumawa ng Proklamasyon Bilang 1041 at ginawang Buwan ng Wika ang Agosto.  Ito ay bilang pagkilala rin sa tinaguriang "Ama ng Wikang Pilipino", ang dating pangulong Manuel Quezon, na ipinanganak sa buwan ng Agosto, at siya ring nagsulong ng paggamit ng wikang Filipino. Sa pagdiriwang ng Buwan ng Wika, maraming kaganapan sa mga paaralan tulad ng balagtasan, pagtutula, pagsasayaw, at kabilang na rin ang masaya at makulay na parada ng mga kabataang naka-kasuotang Pilipino.

M is her traditional kimona at patadyong and tsinelas last year.

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8.08.2014

Family Friday: Homeschool, Back Pains, and Blogging

Second Friday of the month: Parenting / Schooling / Health


As I write this, my mind is still as disorganized as the table I have in front of me. I've been remiss of my other household responsibilities ever since we started homeschooling, and I've also been neglecting my health, and even this blog. Let me warn you, I am not thinking straight right now and this post might end up like a confessional of sorts. I'm uninspired, tired, sleepy all the time. There were nights when my mind tells me to write and blog about a mishmash of ideas running in my head, or read a book, or draw, or loom, but my body would rather do nothing.  I just feel drained at the end of the day.



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8.05.2014

Fun Meets Function with My Bagsational Kipling Bag

It's all about fun, colorful, and functional bags -- that's Kipling from Antwerp, Belgium. Their Summer/Pre-Fall Collection was launched with a media shopping event at their SM Aura store last June 28, but I missed it! The week after, I was able to go to the mall with my family and so I went to see their latest collection. So much eye-candy! Kipling has been consistent in putting the FUN in all their designs, even the creative use of their monkey logo. I love the new signature prints and bold color combinations. Let me show you some of them here.


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8.01.2014

Foodie Friday: Wienerli Fried Rice

First Friday of the month: Mom-Cook / Recipe


This recipe is nothing spectacular -- it can actually be a perfect dish for the clueless cook. I've been uninspired to whip up new dishes the past several weeks. I guess the stress and exhaustion from homeschooling has taken a toll, as I've become such a nag, very grouchy, quick-tempered and masungit. Not liking myself now. Ironically, I've been having quite a big (bigger than usual) appetite lately.  I've been eating a lot of this Wienerli fried rice for the past 2 days already since I received the sausages! It only proves that I always find comfort and pleasure in eating regardless of circumstances.


I can't recall if I've already seen some wienerli in the grocery, or maybe I just don't notice them. Wienerli means Viennese sausage. It resembles a hotdog, but longer and thinner, and has a wonderful smokey flavor. A few days ago, King Sue generously sent me another package with their premium brand of sausages, Kaiser Deli. I buy their kielbasa from time to time, and I was glad there was this pack of wienerli to try.  My husband can attest that I am not a fan of hotdogs, especially the red ones.  I also limit the family's consumption of processed meats. Surprisingly, I got hooked with one as soon as I tried it, so I thought I'd share my instant rice dish today.


The wienerli is flavorful and has a perfect balance of "smokey and spicy" for me.  It's not as firm as a hotdog, and the taste and texture is more appealing to me.  I'd prefer to serve this over regular hotdogs anytime. I think that's why the fried rice was so fragrant and appetizing.

This recipe is a no-brainer, a perfect way to recycle day-old rice.  You can cook this in less than 10 minutes, and even pack for lunch to go.  J and the girl loved this dish too, and to think she's not even fond of fried rice!


WIENERLI FRIED RICE

1 Kaiser Deli Wienerli sausage, thinly sliced or diced (add more if you wish)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups cooked rice
1 egg, beaten
pinch of rock salt, ground pepper
2 tablespoons cooking oil

To cook:
Heat oil in a pan and saute garlic.
Toss in sliced wienerli and cook for a few minutes until lightly toasted and fragrant.
Add rice and mix very well.  (Add water by the spoon if it's too dry for you.)
Pour beaten egg and mix a little. Leave for 10 counts so egg can set, then mix the rice again until color is even.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately.
Good for 3.

Are you fond of sausages? How else do you serve them?


Yesterday, I threw in some corn kernels in the mixed rice and it tasted just as great, with that extra sweet bite.  Next time, veggies will be added in too! It'll be a meal in itself.

Kaiser Deli products are available in S&R, Unimart, Landmark, Cash&Carry, Rustan's Supermarket at Rockwell and Shangri-la.

Other fried rice dishes to try:
Garlic Corn Rice
Chicken Pesto Rice
Crazy Rice
Honey Bagoong Rice

I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it!
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7.28.2014

Twoanyone 212-1212 Delivers Cafe Mary Grace

I consider myself a struggling home cook, trying to come up with simple everyday meals for the family. We don't dine out often, but we welcome take-outs and food delivery at least once a week to enjoy a variety of dishes, and at the same time, give a self-imposed kitchen break for me. While we do have our usual list of dining places to call for direct home deliveries, the flyer menus are piling up with more establishments to try. For a change, we got to try Twoanyone.com delivery service a few Sundays back when they offered to bring us homestyle favorites from Cafe Mary Grace.  Plus, there's a raffle waiting for you at the end of this post! =)

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7.25.2014

Mom-Finds: Kuu Konjac Sponge

Last Friday of the month:  Finds and Faves / Beauty / Shopping

Let's have some skin talk today. Well, you know I'm not that into beauty products so I have very limited knowledge of what's out there.  I tend to stick with my tried-and-tested brands, but over the past year, my skin has been playing tricks on me. I can't deny it -- my age is the main culprit.  I've been more conscious about my skin since I hit 40 so I often find myself asking friends about the products that worked for them. Last summer, I chanced upon Kuu Konjac facial sponge online - I don't think it's something new in the market but it's new for me, so I immediately asked a few friends if they've heard about it.  I can't even pronounce the name right. Obviously, I got good feedback and quickly ordered two variants to try.


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7.22.2014

Enjoying Deezer Music Streaming with Smart

I've always been a music lover and I enjoy listening to the radio or CD since my schooldays. Okay...I think I dated myself by telling you that, hahahaha! I'll redeem myself by saying that I'm still very much up to date with chart-topping songs in different genres. It's the digital age and truth be told, I have not caught on to using video or music streaming yet. That all changed when I learned about Deezer. It's the premium music streaming service from France and they partnered with wireless services leader Smart, launched last July 9 with a big party, which I obviously missed.

http://smart.com.ph/Deezer

If not for Smart and Deezer, I wouldn't have discovered new tracks, and wouldn't known the titles of the latest songs that my kids and I are humming to! Good riddance, "Let It Go"!

“We are very happy to secure this partnership with Deezer,” said Kathy Carag, Smart Postpaid Marketing Head. “We have brought you SPINNR and now Deezer to beef up our music portfolio. We know that music is life for many Filipinos and now Smart is making it possible for Filipino music lovers to enjoy what they want to hear with the clarity and features they truly deserve.”

What's amazing about Deezer:
  • Contains more than 30 million songs in its library
  • Deezer App is available in over 180 countries worldwide
  • Man and machine recommendations - 50 music editors around the world + smart algorithms personalize the recommendations to enjoy and discover more music
  • Music discovery features like Flow, Hear This, Explore
  • Spotlight on local artists
  • Smart-caching on mobile - can play on Offline Mode

I am currently building my Playlist as I add more songs to my Favorite Tracks. 

Deezer offers are initially available for Smart Postpaid subscribers through Unlisurf Premium Plans starting at just PhP1,175  a month, bundled with the latest smartphones and unlimited LTE surfing. As an exclusive perk to early subscribersSmart will give Unlisurf Premium Plans a P175 bill rebate for six months.

Existing Postpaid subscribers can avail of Deezer Flexibundles with a free Deezer Premium+subscription:
  • Deezer Daily = Php25 (1-day Deezer access + 25 SMS and 10MB of mobile data for Deezer streaming)
  • Deezer Weekly = Php125 (7-day Deezer access + 125 SMS and 50MB of mobile data for Deezer streaming)
  • Deezer Monthly = P250 (30-day Deezer access + 250 SMS and 100MB of mobile data for Deezer streaming)
Offers for Smart Prepaid subscribers will be announced soon. For more information on Smart’s Deezer offers, visit smart.com.ph/Deezer.  Try Deezer now!

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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