Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jaden's Lego Birthday

My dear eldest Jaden turned 4 last week and we celebrated it with a "Lego Birthday Week"!

Since I prefer not to have big bashes for my kids' birthdays (milestone years an exception, of course), I previously told Jaden we will just have a small party with his classmates this year. He readily agreed :)

Presenting... Jaden's 4th Birthday (Super-Mini) Party!

It all starts with the invitation! I made these the night before we were supposed to give them to the kids. Talk about cramming! Hehe. But all's good. They turned out quite nice, don't you think? ;)
I wanted LEGO Bento Boxes for the kids, but because I planned everything in less than a week, I figured it was too late to get a bento pro already. Kaya eto... my 1st ever attempt at bento box making! LOL. Anyway, Jaden's teacher requested easy-to-eat snacks, so we made cheese sandwiches. To make them look interesting, I made shapes out of cheese slices and used them as toppers. On the side, we served Quaker Oats Twinkles cereals (chosen for their bright colors hehe) and halved grapes.


The party snacks came in these blue food-grade containers which I luckily scored at the supermarket! We also gave the kids mineral water--the safest choice! (Imagine the mess if I gave juice and the kids spill it!) I put Lego stickers to keep with the theme!
This is one of my favorite highlights of Jaden's mini-party. His classmates, led by his friend Riley, said a very heartwarming prayer for my little boy.  God bless these children and their families! (I blurred the faces of the kids out of respect for their parents who may not want their kids' photos published.)

What's a party without cake?! Little Lego cakes for our little guests! Everybody went crazy these treats from Swell Sweets! The kids were exclaiming, "Awesome!!!" when they got their favorites from the bunch!

Party scenes!

Loot bags for everyone! Thank God, I saved these yellow paper bags from Jaden's construction zone party last year! They went perfectly with this year's Lego theme! Again, stickers to Lego-fy them! Hehehe!

Me and my not-so-baby boy :)  We missed Daddy (in a hearing)  and Sophia (preparing for our road trip later in the day).
And just like that, I survived another DIY party! Yay! Hehe.

Kidding aside, I must say that beyond the relief, the feeling of happiness and satisfaction I got from this small event is immeasurable. I loved seeing Jaden's face light up when he saw all the party details--everything was Lego! His classmates' excited reactions were a huge bonus too! 

Throughout his birthday week, Jaden was so, so happy! It was like he was in Lego heaven with his Lego party AND Lego gifts! Hehehe! Everything is awesome indeed!

To my dearest son Jaden, happy 4th birthday!!! You continue to amaze me with your many milestones and antics. Witnessing your growth humbles me and makes me so grateful to God that He made me your mother. You are indeed my gift from the Lord, and my reward from Him.

I pray that you will grow up to be a man after God's heart--that you will always find favor in Him, that you will be great among men, that you will see the promises of Psalm 112 come true in your life. 

I love you, Jaden. Mommy is so very proud of you.

Happy birthday!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Benefits of Massage

I love massages. I used to think of them as pure, frivolous luxury until I realized they are actually good for my health and wellness.

It's especially beneficial now that I am more physically active. I've been running regularly and in between run days, I try to squeeze Pilates, barre3, or resistance training with our Journey Gym. According to various studies, a good massage after a workout aids in muscle soreness and promotes proper muscle recovery. Yay! :)

In fact, there are more benefits of a good rubdown. This article from Huffington Post is informative on these little-known advantages: (Click the link to find out more about them!)

  1. A massage manages anxiety and depression.
  2. It eases pain.
  3. It promotes healthy sleep.
  4. It boosts immunity.
  5. For ladies--It beats PMS.
  6. It raises alertness.
  7. It reduces headaches.
  8. It re-energizes your skin and scalp.
  9. It eases cancer treatments and the like. 

So don't feel guilty the next time you book yourself a massage treatment. As they say, prevention is better than cure. Better take care of yourself now than spend the money on medicines, right?

I usually just get home massages, but occasionally I get treated with the real deal at The Spa :) 

Saturday, August 09, 2014

The Savvy Way I Read My Newspaper

I was reading the news on my iPhone yesterday when it struck me how technology has so changed the way I keep myself updated with current events.

Like everyone else, I used to read newspapers—as in literally the broadsheets printed on recycled paper. Although I found much satisfaction in learning to read the daily at an early age, I absolutely hated holding those huge dirty papers in my hands. The ink inevitably came off! Eeew. #arte

So when news made its way online, I found myself reading current events on the computer. This was especially helpful to me because this was the time I started working in Makati. This meant that I would always be in a rush during breakfast at home that I scarcely had time to dilly dally with the headlines and my coffee. Online news portals therefore became my friend (I could read while waiting for my emails to load!).

These days, with my trusty iPhone, I tend to stay abreast through Twitter largely because of the simplicity of its use. And because I'm a mom of 2, I am all for straight-to-the-point headlines and news stories!

Then again, I follow lots of non-news "Tweeps", so my feed is admittedly a hodgepodge of headlines and, uh, non-headlines

Luckily, my favorite online news portal, Philstar.com, came up with an app that rivals Twitter in its ease of use. 

Say hello to the Philippine Star Page Suite App!


It is literally the newspaper in app form! Fantastic.

You can take a look at the front page, with all its headlines and photos clearly shown on the screen of the iPhone.

If you’re one to skip some parts of the paper and go straight to your favorite section (Sports? Entertainment? Lifestyle?), you can easily do so with one tap. Each section of the newspaper has its own tab for your easy and convenient news reading!




When a particular news item piques your curiosity, all you have to do is tap it and the whole article—plus the photos--appears on the screen! Super easy and user-friendly.

What's more, every article is complete and easy to read. No more squinting to see the words--an annoying necessity with the usual online news portals.


On the same day that I downloaded the app, I instantly liked it and told my husband to get it too. I know he'll find it useful and very convenient. The app is a godsend to smartphone-savvy people who want to know the events as they happen in politics, business, etc.

It's really the easiest way to read the newspaper. You don't even have to open your laptop for it! This means you can read anywhere and anytime. Like today, I "read the paper" while I was waiting for Jaden's class to finish! (I was proud of myself for being so efficient haha)

Now that I'm talking about it, it makes me realize how nice it is that Philippine Star kinda grew up with me. I appreciate how it evolved to keep up with the changing times and adapt to the new habits and preferences of news readers today. I'm not just saying this to promote the app; I actually, honestly, and truly mean it! It's extraordinary to me that all my news-reading years, Philippine Star was--and still is--a staple :)



You can download the Philippine Star Page Suite App through the App Store. Once you have it in your device, you can access it via Newsstand :)



This is a sponsored post.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

To My Future Son-In-Law,

Today is August 5, 2014. I don't know you yet--I don't even know if you are born already. What I do know is that someday, we will meet and then I would probably raise my eyebrow at you. Hehehe.

(You may laugh, but that wasn't a joke.)

I would hope to intimidate you, but only to bring out a healthy fear and respect for me and--infinitely more important, for my daughter.

At the time you read this, I would have taken care of our girl for maybe a little more than two decades (her father would insist THREE decades), so I hope that, if only for that, you will listen to what I have to say.


I have been praying for you. I have been praying for you since my daughter was born. With my hopes for a beautiful future for her come my hopes for yours, too.

I always pray for the family that will raise you. I want you to have had a happy and colorful childhood, and a strong, loving relationship with your parents. I even hope that you have a special affection for your mom because I've heard that a man who treats his mother with utmost love and respect is bound to do the same to his wife. I need you to honor my daughter.

I hope you would get into good schools. It doesn't matter to me if you flunked 6th Grade History (just as long as you aced High School Math, Science, and English... kidding! But it wouldn't hurt if you did. Haha). But please make sure that by university level, you've developed a sense of hard work and discipline, perhaps even a hunger for success, sufficient to obtain a proper degree from a reputable school. I ask no less than that because those are the tools you need (the discipline and the degree) to propel you unto a solid career in whatever path you choose. (Your options are law, business, or medicine... Ok, fine, that's a half-meant joke.)

While getting that diploma, do have fun with friends. However, let me be the one to tell you that you don't need lots of them. You can be one of the popular kids, but I know from experience that you only need a handful of real, honest-to-goodness trusted buddies. And that's what I'm gonna look at.

Like I said, have fun--but not too much. I don't want to be prudish, but for my daughter's sake, I wish you a past that will never hurt or haunt her. History can be a very bitter enemy.

In my prayers, I tell God that as a bonus, I hope you are into sports. To me, that may mean you're most probably conscious of your health and fitness, something that you and my daughter will truly value later on. I am raising her to be a strong woman of God (and I know she will be), but I also know that at some point, she will lean on you for many things and so I need you to be strong, too.

Above all these, I fervently pray that you are a man after God's heart. I pray that you love the Lord more than anything and anyone else in this world, and that it will show in the way you live your life.
I pray that you will embody Christ's love and that with this, you will edify and inspire my daughter.

I have spent many years taking care of our princess, and as I release her to you in time, please know that I will do so surely with a tinge of sadness but a whole lot of joy. By faith, I will believe that Lord has picked you out for her and that you are the best place she can ever be in.

Take care of my baby,
Your future MIL

PS: I forgot to say that I am also praying for your handsome looks. I want to have good-looking grandchildren. :))

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

How to Layer Your Skin Care Products

I was asked the other day how I layer my skin care products. Well, I only have two--moisturizer and sun block--so it's not like it's all that difficult. At certain times of the year, however, when my skin breaks out because of the weather, my dermatologist (Dr. Kaycee Reyes of Luminisce) prescribes a couple more products. She taught me how to layer these to get the maximum effect of the products.

I can get bad remembering these things, so I thought this image I got from Pinterest would really be useful to us ladies :)
Screenshot from Pinterest
If you like this or if you want to see my pins, do follow me on Pinterest!
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