Wednesday, December 29, 2010

End the Year with Thanks

For sure, you received something from the office, from family members and friends or your community group this Christmas. For the internet-savvy, you must have also been tagged on Facebook or sent e-newsletters to. If you were parents like us who just held a Christening for their son, you must have also been showered with gifts by your guests. And for sure, for even just one day, you received a remarkable amount of kindness from someone this year.

So, end the year with thanks. Luckily, our post office can be depended on so write down a quick message and send them via snail mail or overnight delivery already. If you want to save on paper, design thank you cards using Photoshop and tag your friends or send via e-mail. If you have belated gifts, send your thanks with those.

Just make sure you show your gratitude to those who made you feel special this year. It's a sure way to start 2011 right too!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Brazo de Mercedes from Shopwise Bakeshop

There will be no picture for this post.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that the Brazo de Mercedes (the more expensive one, costing around P170 per half-roll) from Shopwise Bakeshop is just way too sweet.

I love sweet. And I love custard way too much for my own good. But their Brazo de Mercedes is just really way too sweet. The custard is actually not too sweet but the meringue/egg white foam part is sweet, and it's sprinkled with sugar (as in you get the grains) plus it's also drizzled with caramelized sugar.

Way too sweet! So yeah, never again. Because as you can see, all I can say about the cake is it's way too sweet!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Limit Newborn-Sized Baby Clothes Purchases

This is a really practical tip when preparing your baby layette. Just buy enough baby clothes to last your child for a week without doing laundry, with two or three nicer ones for going out.

First of all, since newborns have sensitive skin, it is recommended that their clothes, especially those soiled by spit ups and poop, are washed as soon as possible. Other than those, however, the clothes basically remain clean as newborns are clean and thus won't require intense washing. So they're also easier to wash and wear.

Newborns really balloon in the first three months or so, which won't allow you much mileage on newborn-sized clothes. I bought a few 0-3 and more 0-6 months clothes and only two newborn-sized shirts.

And then, there are the gifts from friends and family, just because they're blessing your baby, attending your shower or joining your family in the baby's dedication/christening. Not to mention hand-me-down clothes as well.

So limit your newborn-sized purchases and channel the savings on more important items instead, like a fab sling or a sturdy pen.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Artscow Cosmetic Bags - Review

These are the smallest of the Artscow cosmetic bags, shown front and back that is approximately 7 inches in width and 4 inches in height. I didn't realize that I was sort of expecting the picture to be printed on something like plastic, or that material used for tarpaulins. Something with a shiny finish, at least. Instead, I got a cosmetic bag that's cloth and resembled pencil cases.

This is not to say I was unhappy with my purchase though. First, I got all these for only $8 (so make sure you take advantage of promos).

The cosmetic bag seems to be well-made but can only accommodate a compact powder, a liner, one or two lipsticks and a comb. More than that and the stitching might give, plus the pictures will get distorted. And one must not forget that the objective of the purchase was to have something personalized.

I haven't tried washing it yet (since we just got it) so I cannot comment on that yet. One other tip though is to really use good photos (with nice contrast) and dark colors (especially for the background). Using light colors just make the bag seem washed out already. Don't shy away from vivid because the printing will be vivid.

Will I order some again? Sure, why not! If the price is right.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Granny Panties after CS Deliveries

I never thought I'd wear granny panties. You know, those really huge ones that ride high over your waist, they're like binders.

And for my first CS delivery, I didn't need it. I was just fine using bikini panties. But for my second one, my scar really hurt. Bikinis just rubbed on the scar and made it feel more raw. And since newly-delivered moms have to contend with lochia, not wearing panties wasn't an option.

Wearing granny panties was, however.

Now, I sort of love them. They don't rub on my scar. They don't show panty lines, making one believe am wearing a thong. And they help cushion the friction from the binder I have to wear 24/7. What's more, they really are like binders and offer some tummy support.

But I guess one does not dare get caught in the usual ones, so maybe you can buy maxi panties with tummy tuckers instead. They're really just glorified granny panties but they will look sexier.

For everyday wear though, the usual ones already work.

Now, let me go back to reading testoripped reviews before I divulge some other post-pregnancy unglamorous stuff.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Chamilia for One of a Kind Jewelry

It may be too late for Christmas but am sure orders can still make it for the New Year. This is for all the husbands and sons out there who have yet to buy the important women in their life some Christmas gift.

Chamilia offers one of a kind jewelry. Since their designs are not generic, the recipient is bound to treasure it more because it will help her feel unique and distinctive. Plus, the jewelry can be great conversation pieces because she can regal her admirer on how she fashioned it herself by choosing which beads will be worn that day. Don't you just love fancy DIY?

Order now boys. Do not wait till Valentines!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Books for Less

Books for Less, Booksale, Books and Mags, Chapters and Pages... these are some of the discount boosktores to be found in malls today that offer great reading options, both for educational purposes as well as gift-giving. One would think such stores should be housed in a metal building if only to ensure the books won't burn because they're really a great resource for precious reading material.

What's more, not all are second-hand books. Plus, there can be really great finds of books in pristine condition at such a low price. A great example is my copy of Quidditch Through the Ages which I bought at Booksale for only P40. And it's really a new, non-doodled copy too.

So, if arranging to meet with someone at the mall, instead of spending already by sitting in that cafe, why not arrange to meet instead at one of these bookstores? You just might find childhood favorites there.

Curious George books bought at Booksale for P60/pc

Monday, December 13, 2010

Casa Armas Tapas Bar Y Restaurante - Jupiter

I have heard of Casa Armas Tapas Bar Y Restaurante but haven't been really interested to dine there. Last Thursday though, as we were being shunned away by so many restaurants along Jupiter since theirs were booked for Christmas parties, I had the pleasure of trying out Casa Armas and their authentic Spanish fare.

Well, the ambience was really exquisite and the waiters were pleasant/good-looking and tall men.

I was surprised to find out that it wasn't as expensive as I thought it would be especially if you consider that the servings can easily be good for two (except maybe the order of plain rice, hehe). Seven adults and one kid and we only spent a little over P2,000.

I didn't get to take pictures of all we ordered but here are some of them:

callos, and real delicious too (though hubs and I are biased and still believe MIL's callos is still the best)

Solomilio con Pimiento, basically pork tenderlon with pepper, which they said was very good

I am assumming this is the Ceasar Salad

The best part of the dining experience, for me, was knowing that the place was kid-friendly enough to allow this, which my son would have really appreciated (as he is on a knights and castles phase now):

Casa Armas in Jupiter is really highly-recommended for intimate dates and gatherings and really special occasions. Contact them at:

Casa Armas Tapas Bar y Restaurante, Jupiter St.
132 Jupiter St., Bel-Air 2
Makati City, Metro Manila
(02) 897-3605

Other branches include:
Casa Armas Tapas Bar y Restaurante, Malate
573 J. Nakpil St. cor. J. Bocobo St.
Manila, Metro Manila
(02) 523-5763

Casa Armas Tapas Bar y Restaurante, Greenbelt 3
G/Lvl. Greenbelt 3, Paseo de Roxas, Ayala Center
Makati City, Metro Manila
(02) 757-4961

Casa Armas Tapas Bar y Restaurante, The Podium
1/F The Podium, 18 ADB Ave., Ortigas Center
Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila
(02) 687-3663

Casa Armas Tapas Bar y Restaurante, Trinoma Mall
3/Lvl. Trinoma Mall, EDSA cor. North Ave.
Quezon City, Metro Manila
(02) 900-0449

(source of contact info:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Med.Chef Brownies

While waiting to be allowed in the ABS-CBN compound one time I was collecting a cheque, my husband was intrigued by this bakeshop offering cakes with a twist. Since he hasn't heard of MedChef before, he only bought these chocolate brownies (P100/box) that had a cream cheese topping.

For its price, it was good. Not too sweet and I loved the cream cheese topping. However, it felt more like chocolate cake than brownie becase it was so soft.

For orders or an idea of where MedChef (or Med.Chef, I don't know how important that dot is) will be (because they also sell at Sunday markets or food expos), just visit their site

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mommy Mundo Events for Two Weekends

I was browsing the news and reading up on a Texas truck accident lawyer and a particular case when a friend alerted me in Gtalk to ask me if I was going to any of the upcoming Mommy Mundo events. I told her that I will check on it first. Sure enough, my inbox had the e-mail with all the details and now, I am sharing it with you.

1. Mompreneur booths (think Planet Noah's wooden toys, natural skin care products, and Ozonator; Mommy Matters' bamboo and organic cotton nursingwear; Earththreads bamboo and organic basic wear; and Fuzzibunz diapers) at MERCATO CENTRALE (weekend lifestyle market in Bonifacio Global City, located at the corner of 30th and 9th streets, right beside The Spa Bonifacio High Street parking lot). Saturdays and Sundays 6am-12nn. Visit for more info visit

2. FREE Creative discovery for your child at FUN RANCH's CREATIVITY AVENUE to be held this Saturday, December 11, at Fun Ranch Pasig, 11am to 6pm where kids can explore, imagine and create with the first Fun Ranch Creativity Avenue that features providers in the field of arts and crafts, theater, fashion, dance and music.

Come at 11am and watch the My Masterpiece Movement open up the event with a live mural painting and storytelling show. After that, sign up for any of the following Creativity stations:

Fashion workshop by Musicfirst
Music workshop by Musikgarten
Arts and Crafts session by Closer ties
Theatre workshop by Teatro Artistas

3. The 5th Toy Fair and Mom's Favorite Finds event at Megatrade hall, SM Megamall is on Dec 17-19, 2010 where mompreneur booths will also be present as well as as hard to find toys and collectibles sold.

So, fortify everyone with Vitamin C before braving the crowds. You need not spend but make sure you do have fun!

UP-PGH Faculty Medical Arts Building (FMAB) Pediatrics

I had gushed about the idea of a pediatric complex offering the services of UP-PGH specialists in one building. I had no idea that it was an even bigger project. The Faculty Medical Arts Building (FMAB) was sitting idle in the PGH compound for over two decades but now, it's offering the latest in medical technology as well as the PGH specialists we all know are the best in the country. FMAB is allowing these doctors to hold private clinics in PGH while also allowing them to be available to PGH patients and UP students.

And I have enjoyed the pediatrics section twice already.

Most of the doctors are officially holding clinic there January 2011 but our pediatrician has already moved in since October. The pediatrics complex has at least eight rooms for the pediatric specialists. Supposedly, once fully occupied, vaccination will be centralized and performed by a tag team of doctor and nurse other than the specialist you're consulting with.

Supposedly, a play area will also be set up just outside the complex, which is in the 2nd floor.

the FMAB lobby, with staff ready to assist first-time visitors and even usher them to where they want to go

Figaro serves coffee near the entrance, this is the cashier area

just after the cashier area is the Radiology center (left) and at the end, the stairs leading to the 2nd floor, the first complex on the right being the Pediatrics one

Inside the pediatrics complex in the FMAB

me, with other parents bringing in their child, to our pedia's FMAB clinic

We actually love the new clinic because well, it's new, clean and the air-conditioning is great (as in bring sweaters or wraps!). However, we do feel it can be a hassle going there because PGH is located in the center of a block, which would require commuters to walk and those driving cars to be stuck in traffic in that area. I am also not sure if parking for FMAB guests is allowed in front of the building (I think that's reserved for the physicians) or they'd have to go park in the main PGH parking area and just walk to FMAB. Plus, for concerned parents, it would really be great to just have all the specialists in one place.

Anyway, I am guessing more chairs will be added to accommodate patients. The complex has its own rest room and there's a separate changing/weighing/measuring room for the kids (with its own sink). All doctors' clinics also has its own sink in the anterooms where the child is examined.

I just hope they installed sound absorbing material there because I can just imagine the noise of so many kids to see so many doctors. Maybe they can also include books in the play area they're going to set up. And at least one TV to broadcast a good children's program to amuse at least half of the kids.

Call 554-8400 or 708-0000 for more information, clinic schedules, specialist availabilities and the like.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Time to Dress Warmly

It's not yet as cool as our usual Decembers but it's still time to dress a little more warmly now. Being tropical, we have no use for muffs and thick leather jackets as well as knowledge of snow chains and snowblower parts but the time for sundresses and sleeveless tops is not now.

But what if you find yourself in a really crowded place or one that's not so well-ventilated? then, I guess you can do what they do in colder countries and just strategize by layering.

Wear that fab tank top with an equally fab scarf. Then, have either a jacket or shawl handy in your bag or car. Use coats which you can button up when the place is cooler or when night time falls.

For your kids, make sure you have jackets ready. And when outside at night, at least make them don bonnets or caps. Also, make sure you make them wear shoes requiring socks, instead of flimsy slippers that will also get their feet cold.

Christmas is wasted on the sick, so make sure you keep warm.

Klasse Murae Accessories

At the Manila Doctors Bazaar, I happened to find an accessory selle that had really great designs. Her brand, Klasse Murae basically means "classy but cheap" (klas na mura).

there were a lot of great designs but I couldn't wear anything with metal so she offered me this P300 single-string glass beads necklace and I just found a P50/pair earrings to match

this is me wearing the necklace and earrings I bought from her

I failed to take a picture of her designs, even her bags which are really fab, because I didn't have any camera with me. But feel free to drop by her shop or contact Klasse Murae:

Nicole Roxas
Fashion Accesory Designer - Klasse Murae
with branch at Shoppes at Victoria Tower, Timog and an outlet in Glorietta 1
0916-536 3199/ 0922-663 8519
roxas_nicole at yahoo dot com
nicole_roxas at hotmail dot com

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Spice Up Your Home

With 2010 about to bid adieu, and you contemplating what things you could do to improve your home and spice it up a little, allow me to suggest ambient lighting. Start researching on "lighting fixtures for home" and see where some will do good in your abode.

They need not be expensive installations anyway. Maybe, a soft spotlight on your collectibles is all you need, or some back lighing in your shelf. Maybe you'd really benefit from a reading light in your bedroom that will cover the couch where you love to curl up in. And of course, there is always the garage or basement that can do with good white light to aid your chores and help prevent accidents.

Microwarehouse Yearend Sale

On December 11-12, 2010, head on to Decagon Silver City, corner Frontera Drive and Julia Vargas Drive, Frontera Verde, Pasig City and get great deals on brands like Apple, Belkin, Lacie and more!

This is a 2 day affair you sure shouldn't miss if you're hankering for a new Blackberry (or accessories) or looking to invest in more Apple products. Samsung and Philips will be there too so there might just be LCD TVs as well. I am guessing, this is a sale men will love as it will involve appliances and gadgets.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Scholastic Christmas Book Sale

Here's another sale to get wonderful books from to give as Christmas gifts!!!

From their online ad:



DECEMBER 1 - 10, 2010
8AM - 8PM


(email to your friends and relatives)
Thank you!
Scholastic Book Fairs TeamDistribution Center:
#70 C. Raymundo Ave. Rosario, Pasig City
Contact No.: (02) 900-1537/ 640-7696
Telefax: (02) 628-4487
Mobile No.: (0917)580-4784
Email Address:

Flavored Cigars

If you're thinking of what cigars to get your puff-happy friend, why not consider flavored cigars?

I once bought vannila-flavored cigars and it was a hit with cousins because it was somehow sweet. There are at least 70 flavors out there and at least 90 brands to choose from. Maybe you can even have different-flavored ones in a canister for people to enjoy in the Christmas or New Year's Eve party you're throwing.

I normally don't encourage smoking and I really hope more people will take the risks smoking brings to heart more, but this is still an idea I thought worth mentioning.
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