Grand Spectacle at Sandalias Festival 2010

One spectacular event happened last weekend -- Sandalias Festival 2010, which delighted sandal lovers like me! Aptly themed “Step Into Some Love”, the Brazilian-style celebration was a fabulous showcase for trendy footwear brands Ipanema, Ipanema Gisele B√ľndchen (GB), Grendha and Rider.

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I Finally Won A Blog Contest

Mom-Friday is a WINNER!  Not just 1, but 2 prizes! Awesome!

After more than a year of blogging, and trying my luck at joining a handful of blog contests and raffle promos, I finally hit jackpot one fateful Friday morning of September.

Winning Entry #5
My girl Jen, traveling mama of Folie a Deux, ran a Luxe City Guide raffle here a month ago showcasing some of the greatest cities around the world, like Barcelona, Rome, Venice, New York, Dubai, London...all of which I fervently wish to visit someday. To win a Luxe City Guide, all you have to do was write what city guide you like to have. I chose NYC, took a chance and expected nothing.

I got a Tweet one morning saying Mom-Friday won! Woohoo!
The package arrived only recently (mailed straight from London!) and I just can't wait to get my hands on this wonderful gift!
The thought of actually winning something, big or small, was worth all the effort. After browsing through my LUXE City Guide - NYC, it certainly proved that big things come in small packages. It's a perfect travel companion indeed. The guide is even small enough to fit in my wristlet!
Now, all I have to do is find the money to get me and my gang to that "concrete jungle where dreams are made of...!"  Any sponsors? :-)))

You too can win a fab city guide of your choice by joining the second Luxe City Guide giveaway here, this time from Jen's travel blog, The Travel Provocateur. Hurry, you only have until the 30th to join!

Special Prize #5
The second email I received was from Frannywanny, also a food and travel blogger who ran an anniversary contest with accessory trend-spotters Jean & Rosz. I was really eyeing the multi-strand necklace, so I typed away and posted my entry.  But then again, I never expected to win any of the prizes at stake since there were more than 30 entries they needed to screen and choose from.

That same morning, it was such a pleasant surprise to hear from Fran that I won the Neutrogena Ultrasheer Sunblock (prize #5)! Cool! She delivered it straight to my doorstep.

I think my stars were aligned that day since the good news came on the same day I announced the winners for My Mom-Friday's very first blog raffle contest! Triple awesome! And the winning entries are both lucky #5!  There's really no such thing as coincidence!

Now I feel like running another blog contest here...(thinking)... ;)

Second photo of New York city by Jen, from Folie A Deux.

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Mom-Finds For Girls: Espadrille Sandals from The Little Red Shoe

Last Friday of the Month:  Mom-Finds for P500 or Less

At a recent bazaar, I saw these super cute and stylish denim sandals for girls. And they were on SALE! After getting myself this espadrille peep-toe wedge over a month ago, I just couldn't resist buying one for my little fashionista too!

I noticed that most of my children's shoes are getting too small for them and so I now have to buy a new batch of footwear for both of them. If you are a parent to a boy, you may agree with me that it's much simpler for boys with just the basic selection of leather loafers, sneakers, black shoes and rubber shoes. As for girls, well...if you knew mine, she just got to have several shades of pink shoes for her to choose from, aside from a few pairs of rubber shoes, dress shoes and sandals.

Now that she's an active school girl (they don't have a uniform), some of her favorite shoes get worn out easily. So I need quantity, that's why I'm always on the look-out for the cute, the comfy and the affordable -- something that would last 'til the next cycle of shoes to fit her growing feet.

The Little Red Shoe has all those qualities I was looking for. The ankle-strap sandals is made from denim fabric, all around from the in-sole to the bow detail.  It has flat rubber sole with braided abaca trim.  The strap with velcro enclosure made it easier for my girl to put these on and take off all by herself.

Aren't they cute?!? :-)
@675 : The Little Red Shoe (Sale for P500)

This style came in black, red, brown, pink and denim, but with limited stocks already.  I would have wanted to get her the brown too but she was not in a good mood and simply was not interested with the shoes. There were other really nice styles available, so I just decided on this denim pair in size 9, and crossed my fingers that she'll wear them eventually.

As soon as we got home, I had her try on the sandals again and she liked it instantly (whew!)!  She wore it the rest of the day and only took them off until it was time to take a bath (hmm...this line sounds so familiar...).

I also bought this pretty-in-pink pair in a much smaller size -- a perfect gift for a toddler who's just learning how to walk. Each pair from The Little Red Shoe is packaged in a reusable tote bag matching the color of the shoes, like this one. Cute and earth-friendly!

I also got to take home this Mommy Pages directory for Free at the bazaar, organized by Mommy Mundo. A very useful reference booklet for moms like me.

There are more stylish footwear for the little ladies from The Little Red Shoe's website. Check it out and happy shopping!

The Little Red Shoe
by Grace Profeta

Check out my girl's other shoes in our family Shoe Tales.

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Sight for "Sore Eyes"

The country is on health alert with the outbreak of dengue hemorrhagic fever for the past couple of months. There are aggressive campaigns to re-educated on the prevention, symptoms and source of this "break bone fever" caused by the bite of an Aedes mosquito. But aside from this potentially fatal type of high grade fever, another rising health case is SORE EYES.

We received a circular and medical bulletin from my son's school about sore eyes and I would like to share this with you to help prevent the spread of this contagious eye infection, which usually rises during flu season.

Medical Bulletin:  SORE EYES

What is "Sore Eyes"?

Sore eyes is a common term for an inflammation of the thin covering of the eyeball and the inner eyelid brought about by a viral infection which may be highly contagious.

How does sore eyes spread?

Sore eyes can spread by contact of contaminated hands with the eyes (hand to eye contact) or through touching of eyes with hands which got into contact with contaminated surfaces of objects. It can also spread through droplets from a person with sore eyes who also has a runny nose or cough.

What are the signs and symptoms of sore eyes?
  • Redness of the eye
  • Eye discomfort described as burning or gritty but not sharp
  • Vision is usually normal although smearing, particularly in waking, maybe common
  • Pain on the eye on exposure to light
  • Water-like discharge commonly seen, but later, eyes maybe difficult to open in the morning, glued together
  • Runny nose and sore throat maybe present
How long does sore eyes last?

Signs and symptoms of sore eyes will peak in 3 to 4 days, and patient will be relieved and recover in about 10 to 14 days.

What are the complications of sore eyes?

After a severe and prolonged infection, there can be corneal scarring that can result in glare and decreased vision.

Is there a treatment for sore eyes?

Sore eyes which is of viral origin is self-limiting.  Anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops or ointment may be used upon the advice of a health professional. To relieve the discomfort, warm compress may be applied to the eye 5 to 10 minutes, three times a day.

How to prevent sore eyes?
  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water
  • Do not touch your eyes and face without washing your hands
  • Do not share towels, eyeglasses / shades, and make-up
  • Do not reuse handkerchiefs (wash after every use), using a tissue is best
  • Used make-up must be thrown away if the patient has been diagnosed with infectious conjunctivitis
  • Be careful that tips of eye drops or ointments do not touch the eyes or eyelashes
  • Don't swim (some bacteria and viruses can be spread in the water)
  • Avoid shaking hands
  • Disinfect surfaces, doorknobs, counters, elevator buttons, hand rails with diluted bleach solution
  • Clothes, towels, pillow cases and anything else which may have come in contact with an infected person should be washed
What should patients with sore eyes do?
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Use clean tissue to remove discharge from eyes and wash hands afterwards
  • Dispose used tissue in garbage bins. If the latter is not available, keep tissue in a small plastic bag then discard as soon as you find a garbage bin
  • To prevent irritation of the eye and possible scarring, do not use contact lens while one has sore eyes
  • Do not wear eye make-up until the problem has been resolved
  • Warm compress may be helpful to relieve discomfort and remove "crust"
  • Use antibiotic or antiviral medication only upon prescription by the doctor
  • If drops or an ointment is prescribed, the applicator tip and infected eye must never come in contact with each other
  • Especially for persons with sore eyes with runny nose or cough, stay in a separate room or away from other family members or co-workers
Should I report for work if I have sore eyes?

As much as possible, do not report for work.  However, if unavoidable circumstances require you to report for work, especially if you have sore eyes accompanied by runny nose and/or cough, stay in a separate room or away from other employees.

In workplaces where you mingle or work closely with other employees, it is best to stay at home.

Should I go to school and attend classes if I have sore eyes?

Spread of sore eyes can be hastened by crowding and close contact with other persons, thus, those with sore eyes are advised not to report to school.

Until when should one be absent from work or school?

Until the symptoms have resolved and until there is no discharge from the eyes.

What is conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is the medical term that describes an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane that covers the white of your eyes (sclera).  This membrane produces mucus to coat and lubricate the surface of the eye.

Watch this video from GMA News on Sore Eyes Cases

Department of Health
Re-printed by the clinic of Reedley International School

Photo from Gucci Eyewear print campaign

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Fun Friday: Calesa in the City

Third Friday of the month:  Fun and Leisure

Calesa or Kalesa (noun): a horse-drawn carriage (calash) with two thin wheels; commonly seen around Chinatown in old Manila.  This is how I personally describe a calesa, as I remember it from my childhood.

I honestly can't recall how long it has been since my last calesa ride in downtown Manila. Years... But just thinking about it brought back memories of those leisurely rides, along the hustle and bustle of the Binondo sidestreets, hearing the clickity-clack of the horse's steady gallop.

When I was younger, it thrilled me to be riding high, even slightly, above the busy roads amidst zooming jeepneys and cars.  Nowadays, all I have to do is go to Tiendesitas in Pasig City to enjoy a nice, leisurely ride around the village, without the pollution and stink. (",)
Posing for a shot with this calesa that the boy got to ride in with the nanny

Of course I could never compare the sights and sounds (and smell!) of Chinatown, which is part the whole calesa ride experience, to this express carriage ride around this commercial complex.

Sometime ago, a roving calesa caught the eyes of my kids while strolling around Tiendesitas. They never rode one before, so expectedly they bugged me for a ride. They did not get one that day but mommy promised they will, and soon.
Another souvenir shot with the white horse, the girl's choice
"Woohoo...cool!". "This is fun mommy!!!".  These were their exact words as they went around the village on their very first calesa ride. They compared the experience with their introductory horse ride in Tagaytay last December. Since then, they have been clamoring for more horsey encounters.

Cheap thrills you say? Absolutely! At only P10 a ride for adults, and P5 for kids, a few breezy rounds in the mini-carriage (don't expect any sight-seeing here) sure made a super fun day for the boy and the girl.  And they can't get enough!

You may think this experience is nothing spectacular, but how often do you get to ride, or even see, a calesa these days? A ride that's "alive and kicking" sure beats the mechanical amusement park rides they usually enjoy -- at same price! They even had a big laugh when they caught the brown horse peeing like a hose! So this was truly a unique and welcome treat for the kiddos.

"One more please." "Last one mommy, last one."
It only took around 2 to 3 minutes per ride, circling the village.

We passed this spot 6 times already!!!

Finally, they had enough.  Before getting off, the boy tried his hand at the harness...hee-yaaa!

With the dizzying rounds we had, the two manong kutchero (mister horse driver) that drove us around were nice enough to oblige (I guess they should, we paid for it! heehee) even cutting short their snack time to appease the little ones who just can't wait to hop on.

We shall return!
Tickets for sale at the concierge from the Food Plaza and the horses are waiting across the hall 

Had a calesa ride lately? =)

Kalesa Ride at Tiendesitas
Frontera Verde, Pasig City
1 round @P10 / adult; P5 / kid
4 pm - 9pm Daily

Related posts:

See the kids' happy faces on their first horse ride here:
Family holiday trip to Tagaytay

Mom-Friday's shopping finds at Tiendesitas:
Blouses & Tunics
Ballet Flats
Espadrille Wedge Shoes

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A Closer Look at Progressive and Traditional School Settings

Second Friday of the month:  Kids and Schooling 

"One size fits all" -- certainly not with schools.

Now, more than ever, choosing the right school for children has become more complicated and confusing. At least for me it is. It's not a walk in the park especially for parents scouting for their kid's first school.  Unlike in my time (think 2 to 3 decades backwards!), there were only a handful of 'old reliables' that my parents looked into. Considerations were either it's Catholic or Christian, Co-Ed or Exclusive, standard of education, if it teaches Chinese, proximity, and fees.

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Laces and Bows for A Girly Girl

Think Madonna in "Like A Virgin".  This image came to mind when I was in the mall the other day seeing all the laces and ribbons, leggings and ankle boots, and a multitude of pearl accessories!  I felt like I was back in the 80s!!!

And here's what caught the girl's eye...

As soon as she saw this baby pink lace bow on the rack, she quickly pointed to me and asked that it be put on her head.  Well, you all know how that ends...I gave in to her poor-puppy-eyes look and bought this black-satin-ribbon-covered hairband at P199.75 (US$4.50) since she refused to take it off as soon as it landed on her head.  And it's for ladies!

Girly: check. Frivolous: check. Over-the-top: check.  Adorable: triple check!!! I was smitten too =)

I thought, the only thing missing was a gift wrapper and she was a perfect-looking present!
"It's mine!" exclaimed the girl.

At barely 4 years old, I can't help but be amused as she checked herself out in the bathroom mirror less than an hour before her bedtime!
She wore this frothy little thing for the rest of that day, and only took it off to bathe.  It was back on again after dinner and was kept on until it was time to go to bed.

And yes, she wore it to school today.

Top images are from: http://ditahxxx.multiply.com/photos/album/22/LIKE_A_VIRGIN_1984_PHOTO_SHOOT#

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Foodie Friday: Creamy Salmon & Caviar Pasta

First Friday of the month:  Mom-Cook / Recipe

I enjoy eating salmon occasionally. But I am a caviar virgin...until this dish came along.

For the longest time, I was so curious how caviar tastes like, and why the rich and famous love this unbelievably expensive fish roe so much!

I will not pretend to know much about this salty delicacy and appear snooty in the process. I Googled, and Wikipedia states, "traditionally the designation caviar is only used for sturgeon roe from the wild sturgeon species living in the Caspian Sea...".  Ergo, eggs of a large fish, heehee  =)

My curiosity led me to this post by Jenni Epperson which got me more excited to finally indulge and give in to my inner foodie. I learned that lumpfish roe is the more affordable caviar, in black or red variety.

I quickly planned for a pasta dish that will marry the diverse flavors of salmon, cheese and caviar. So off I went to find some nice salmon fillet, a block of parmesan cheese, and began my search for that easy-on-the-pocket caviar.  And as if it was meant to be, a new batch of Emborg Lumpfish Caviar were being stacked as I passed by the cooler section of the supermarket (Unimart)!  I grabbed this 100-gram jar with a price tag of P324.50 (about US$7 only).  Some may still think it's pricey for a tiny jar, but I soon discovered that a little goes a long way for caviar.

To be honest, I was really excited to prepare and serve this dish especially to J, knowing he prefers creamy white sauces over tomato-based pasta sauces. Surprisingly, this very satisfying meal was quite easy to prepare.  Let's now move on to the recipe:

Creamy Salmon and Caviar Pasta

Approx. 125 gms. Spaghetti
100 gms. Salmon fillet (plain)
Half a small white onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon butter, unsalted
1/2 cup all purpose cream
3 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon lumpfish caviar
parsley and capers, optional

To prepare:
Boil water for pasta.
Slice or cube salmon fillets, salt lightly and set aside.
Chop onion.
Chop parsley for garnish (optional)

To cook:
Cook pasta as instructed from the pack.
Heat olive oil in a pan, then add butter.
On medium heat, sweat chopped onions in the pan.
Add salmon then saute for around 3 minutes, until half-cooked
Pour in cream and simmer a couple minutes.
Mix in grated cheese in the cream sauce until melted.
Simmer for a few more minutes then turn off heat.
Check pasta if al dente, drain and set aside.

To serve:
Toss spaghetti in the creamy salmon sauce and plate.
Finally, top the dish with caviar.
Garnish with capers and parsley if you wish.

Serve immediately. Best with toasted garlic-rubbed baguette.
Good for 1 to 2 persons.

Add more cream and cheese for your desired consistency and taste.

Good to know:  Mother-of-pearl is the ideal serving dish for caviar. Never use metal spoons to scoop out caviar. If you don't have mother-of-pearl cocktail spoon, use plastic instead.

If you wish to use gravlax or smoked salmon, you may skip cooking the salmon with the cream and simply top the plated dish with slivers of salmon and caviar.

My perfect bite -- the lethal combination of delicate black 'pearls', tender salmon chunks and al dente pasta noodles enveloped in velvety cream cheese sauce! Rich, rich, rich (in looks and in flavor!) :-)))

Truly a gastronomic delight!
Crazy for more caviar? How about some lumpfish caviar on toast as hors d'oeuvres, or even for breakfast?

As seen in:
Creamy Salmon & Caviar Pasta on Foodista  
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And the WINNERS of Tutti Frutti (Centris Walk) Fro-Yo Treats Are...

Congratulations to the winners of Tutti Frutti Centris Walk Fro-Yo Treats!

Top 2 Entries - Raffle A from My Mom-Friday Followers:
It's Alfonso and Tetcha!

Alfonso 08/31/2010 03:35 PM
I like to try Cappucino, Strawberry Cheesecake, and P-Nut Butter of Tutti Frutti - Centris Walk!
Tetcha 08/20/2010 11:56 AM
I love fro-yo! I would love to try the following flavors: Blue Berrilicious, Melony Felony, Splenda Strawberry, and Taro-bly Delicious. 

Top Entry - Raffle B from Tutti Frutti Centris Walk Facebook Fans: 
Congratulations to Bennett!!!

Bennett Michelle:  I can't wait to try the Death by Chocolate topped with fresh mangoes, cookie dough and choco chips of Tutti Frutti - Centris Walk! ♥

Each winner will be treated to one (1) medium cup of any of the available flavors and toppings of your choice! To the 3 lucky names up there, I am sure you will enjoy the delightfully delicious and healthy, 100% self-serve frozen yogurt from Tutti Frutti Centris Walk!

I will send a confirmation email on how you can claim your yummy treat.

(Winning lists were drawn via Random.Org)
After two weeks and more than a hundred entries, let me say Thank You to everyone who participated and supported Tutti Frutti Centris Walk's giveaway and this blog's first raffle! =)

Stay tuned for more exciting games and promos from yours truly. So stay connected and Follow me on Google friends, Facebook and Twitter @mymomfriday, or Subscribe via email and be updated on the latest.

Visit Tutti Frutti Centris Walk
Eton Centris Walk
EDSA corner Quezon Avenue
Quezon City
Store Hours:
Weekdays:  10am - 10pm
Weekends: 10am - 11pm

Have a cool and happy weekend everyone!
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Breakfast of Caviar and Cream Cheese on Toast

Good morning!

Wake up to some warm toasted baguette slices, slathered with cream cheese and delicate caviar...

Mini baguette from French Baker + Magnolia Cream Cheese spread + Emborg Lumpfish Caviar = Unique, indulgent, scrumptious meal to start your day!

This is just an appetizer to my Foodie Friday entry (also with caviar!) tomorrow.

Plus, the winners of the Fro-Yo Treat from Tutti Frutti Centris Walk will also be revealed.

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