This is too cute to be ignored. :)

Meet LALA LOOPSY, the dress-me-up doll. She has button eyes, stitched mouth & pink round cheeks. Her head, arms & legs are movable.


[DIY origami envelopes]

Getting into the holiday rush to buy gifts is no longer my thing. Not that I'm a grinch but since I stopped working & became a busy SAHM, giving money to relatives has been more practical & it gave the recipients the leeway to buy what they want. No more 'unwanted' gifts.

I ran out of those red Chinese envelopes (ang pao) so I thought of making my own. I remembered I bought a pack of origami paper from Fully-Booked & decided to use them. Then I looked for online tutorials on how to make origami envelopes. I chose this easy one from Martha Stewart Living.

Here's the fun way to make them :

1. Grab the materials you'll need. You can use any square-cut paper, pair of craft scissors or sticker that you want. Be creative, the choices for your materials are endless .


[hearty snacks]

I recently discovered 3 hearty food items to snack on:

PRINGLES multi-grain variant in classic & sour cream & onion flavors.

I am glad that I can now enjoy my favorite potato crisps with less calories. It has the look & taste of tortillas but yummier.  Despite being multi-grain, I think I will go easy on this as it is still junk food. 

DEL MONTE FRUIT SNACKS in pine-orange & tropical mix flavors.


Get your daily fruit fix anywhere you go because the fruit cocktail is now in convenient stand-up pouches or doy packs. 


[apron strings or hard hat?]

Which will it be -

apron strings
or hard-hat?


This has been running through my head ever since I received Wednesday of last week a text message from a former senior colleague. He is back in the company where I was last connected with. He asked me if I am presently employed. I told him "no" & then he hinted at a possible re-hiring. Another former boss who is now with another property developer wanted me to apply in N a couple of years back but I declined. I recently asked (thru a friend) if I can now take up that offer he gave me before. He said I can.

Honestly, the thought of going back to work is enticing at the moment. On days that I feel I am all-cooped up at home, doing the chores, looking after the needs of husband & the girls, etc., I have this silent wish of working & wracking my brains again as an architect. Aside from these concerns, it doesn't help that others think my professional license has not been put to good use since that day I decided to be a SAHM. =(

What will REALLY make me decide to go back to work?


[mommy maggie & her cake pops]

Her blog postings of her cake pops got me all curious & craving for them. I thought they were too delectable to pass up.

So, I ordered 3 boxes for my youngest daughter's potluck share in her school's Christmas party. Maggie & I agreed to meet up & do lunch a day or 2 before the party.

After numerous text messages, we finally saw each other today at Sbarro, Megamall.

From the Kultura store just across the restaurant, I  went inside Sbarro & saw her waiting for me with the cake pops boxes with her.  We ordered pizza & pasta. No pictures were taken of us nor of Sbarro as we were too caught up in our 'chikahan'. We let each other in on our individual lives by talking about our families. One thing we had in common - we both lived in Sampaloc some years back.


[oh, Christmas trees!]

What's up with your Christmas tree? ;)

Holiday decorating & tree trimming are my most loved things to do. When the -ber months set in, I would get busy surfing DIY, interior design & home decorating websites or browsing around home section/store displays for inspirations. 

If you've been following this blog - silently or otherwise ;)- you've probably seen how my white tree evolved from having gold & silver ornaments with black touches to its most recent scheme - with birds & snowflakes.

For this post, I have asked a good number of my relatives, friends & former classmates/schoolmates to let me showcase their dressed-up trees which they have lovingly & creatively put up in their homes. 

So, here's the round-up :

VIVIEN's : blue & gold


[my food version: Jamba Juice's steel cut oatmeal & spinach cheese wrap]

Jamba Juice in BHS Central has become a favorite food stop for us ever since we tried out the place a couple of months ago. We keep coming back for more of their yummy smoothies, wraps, oatmeal or fruit & yogurt parfaits.

So far, we've tried (& loved) their smoothies (banana berry, razzmatazz, strawberries wild), spinach cheese wrap, smokehouse chicken flatbread, steel cut oatmeal & organic granola parfait.


[the once-chubby girl turns 18]

I had this girl in my late 20's. She was one big baby for her petite mom to carry.

just a little over a year old,
when sporting a pout in pictures
was still unheard of then


[TACLINGS, anyone?]

A gourmet fair was on-going that day we were in M!2. While waiting for their daddy, my girls asked for  something light to eat.

We passed by  a line of tables selling sweet pastries. Because we wanted no sugar rush, we looked further & chanced upon these crunchy taco bites called 'taclings'. 

[our B&W kitchen]

This is our main kitchen. 

To have that modern peg carried over from our living room, I went for the black & white scheme plus wood & stainless steel.

Here are the things we did for this kitchen :

*I used glass mosaic tiles for the back splash because I liked a play of patterns. Since a solid black granite top would have that clean, sleek look always, I chose black & white to match it.

I looked into several home depots around the Metro until the tile hunt ended at Wilcon Depot, Libis.

Wilcon is a go-to place for designers, builders & homeowners. This store carries a wide range of brands & designs of architectural finishes to choose from. For the mosaic tiles, I went for PICASSO.

*We installed a stainless steel backsplash for the stove for effortless cleaning & to go with the finish of the hob & range hood (LA GERMANIA).

*We commissioned our reliable finish carpenter to do the kitchen cabinets instead of getting from kitchen cabinet system suppliers/installers. It would cost us an arm & a leg to get the latter.=( For the cabinet door handles, we got them from Hongkong Hardware at their Shangrila Plaza mall branch. And the see-thru panels? We opted for frosted or textured acrylic ones in lieu of frosted glass. Same look. ;)

*I displayed the kitchen tools by hooking them up in a stainless steel curtain rod.

*The twin-tub kitchen sink (KOHLER) is in stainless steel brushed finish. The dish drainer & liquid soap dispenser came free with the sink.;)

*The gooseneck-type faucet goes well with the kitchen sink, so it was what we bought. I would have gotten the chef's tap, the one with the flexible hose & spray nozzle but then, it's more expensive. We bought all our faucets from the HOME STORE branch in MC Home Depot BGC located at the back of Starbucks.

So far, our kitchen is still in good condition save for the granite counter top since there are already some stain marks on them.

The supplier's technical rep who inspected it told me that we have to install a new one because the stains can no longer be removed. =( Is this for real? Does anybody know if the stains are really irreversible? If I take the guy's word for it, then this will now be added to our things-to-do-around-the-house list. The financier & the pointman has already been alerted!;)

[SOY healthy]

After doing the groceries, I rewarded myself with a light & healthy lunch.

This is where I dined the other day. I love the green & natural wood schemes they used for this compact dining space at SM. Refreshing! ;)

It was my third time to be here. Their healthy meal offerings are too hard to resist especially since I am now watching what I eat.



After having our facials done at Skin Story, my sister & I made a quick stop at the home section of Robinson's Metro East. I was looking at throw pillows & spotted this. 

These are pillow fillers made of light canvass cloth with famous world cities graphic prints. 


[store finds : TEES & BLINGS]

My girls were able to get cool stuff at sale prices last weekend at M!2. There was an on-going B1T1 promo at both TEAM MANILA & DIVA.

*Team Manila tees at BUY ANY TWO for only Php 800:


[the MOMMY BLOGGER friends I make - Em & Maggie]

I met them the same way I did with Aimee, Ging & Marsy - thru their posted comments on my blog. I returned the gesture, visited their blogs then added them to my list of daily reads. From this initial exchange, a series of 'friendly connections' ensued. We are now FB, Twitter & Instagram buddies! ;)


[what's on our CHRISTMAS tree]

Basic white.

This has been our tree for 3 Christmases past. I love this simple palette since it's so easy to change color motifs for the ornaments. But since I am more into neutrals, gold & silver have been easy picks for me.


[a farm around the house]

Remember the camote (sweet potato) tops that I made into a breakfast smoothie? Well, this is where we got them, with compliments from our friendly couple caretakers in our village.


[store finds: DIY LETTERS]

I have seen them before during one of my M!2 visits. I even mentioned this to Mommy G because I know she might want these for one of her craft projects. So, I had to go back to get some, blog about it & share with you guys. ;)

The girl who was manning the store allowed me to get some snapshots & answer queries.

Anyway, here they are :

6" @ Php 35.00

[a mommy DIRECTIONER?]

With 1D music forever streaming inside our home, day in & day out, I think I am slowly turning into a Mommy Directioner, if ever there is one. ;)

Here are the signs...

I have their music on my playlist.


[a breakfast smoothie]

I learned to make a veggie-fruit smoothie when I attended a raw food seminar 3 months back. The recipe I got from that workshop called for a lot of ingredients. So on my first time to try this, I just made do with what was in my pantry.

I had 3 on hand - camote tops, papaya chunks & banana slices. The camote tops came from our friendly village couple caretakers who tend a small vegetable farm nearby. We are given our share of their harvest, free-of-charge! ;)

The veggie-fruit combo,


[health & beauty loots]

For me, reaching the age of the 4-0's meant dealing with dark spots, wrinkles & unwanted body fat deposits. Guilty of not having a beauty regimen before, I now have to make up for lost time & get preventive maintenance to avert further damage. Good thing, these Avon products that I got from my SIL could do this for me.



Have you been to a store & experienced paying for items that add up to a thousand pesos because you can't resist picking them up? Well, I did one time when I discovered Saizen & after that I controlled the shopaholic tendencies so as not to hurt hubby's pocket! =P

But I guess there's no way I can avoid going to this place because it induces those happy hormones when I spend my time there.;) And so, I came back 2 weeks ago.

Their Robinson's Metro East branch is rather small but there was still an overload of cute, practical finds at less than a hundred pesos each:

wooden cafe stencil for your foam-topped cappuccino

[christmas streets]

Coming from The MET Park somewhere near MOA where Kirsten attended her friend's debut party, we took the Ayala Avenue & BGC  routes & saw these lit-up center islands. A yearly thing, the Ayala group really never fails to add to the holiday cheer with these Christmas street light installations.


[store finds : UBE JAM, COOKIES & COFFEE]

When in Baguio, the Good Shepherd Compound is a never-miss place for anyone who visits.  When we went there last weekend, it was teeming with tourists (as always) who queued up for those famous ube (purple yam) & strawberry jams to bring home or give away as "pasalubongs".

Up close,  the goodies we took home :

Yum-O! ;)

*Good Shepherd Compound
15 Gibraltar Road
Baguio City

[store finds: PCC DAIRY PRODUCTS]

My daughter & I bought a bagful of milk products from a store at the PCC (Philippine Carabao Center) inside the UPLB campus. She has been raving about the chocomilk that's being sold there which she says is delicious. 

After a quick trip to the in-store campus, take a look at what we bought:

[the long & SHORTS of it]

If only I had long, shapely legs *sniff*, then donning these  pair of chic, dressy shorts would be a breeze.


gold waistband


[the SUDOKU junkie i love]

When I received these last VDay, I got all giddy inside. 



Jill was all hyped-up one afternoon viewing this short video clip.

[dressed-up mobiles]

Two Saturdays ago, we found ourselves going back to the Greenhills bazaar mall to accompany my eldest to her meet-up with a classmate for a school requirement. Since I was, at that time, on a search for an affordable but quality phone case with a nice design, we decided to explore the e-gadgets selling area at the 2/F, right above the fashion market, the one near the Promenade.

Our first stop was the row of stalls across the stairs. Lots of design to choose from the displayed wares but what caught my eye was the one with the Eiffel Tower design.

for the iPhone


[ferris wheel]

Last Sunday was MOA day for us. After an early lunch at ITALIANNI's,


[no green-eyed monster]

A relative once took notice of my daughters' closeness to their father. She said that it's a good thing since it's so rare for dads to be openly loving & doting to their children.

It didn't come as a surprise to me when I heard that & I felt not a tinge of insecurity nor jealousy. In fact, I felt happy for the girls. I know of some kids who are wanting of affection from their parents but  my girls are getting their dose of love from their dad effortlessly. 

Here are a couple of pictures I have taken of the three of them walking together, their backs to me. Since I am almost always a step or two behind them when we go out, I am able to capture these moments. 

[window dressing]

Holiday season will be here soon & I am getting ready to dress up our windows. I have a reliable "mananahi" of my Roman shades & curtains. After she got all the measurements needed to come up with a new set for our house, I hied off to Divisoria the next day with my daughter, mom, sister & brother-in-law to buy the materials.

We took the car this time  because we anticipated the difficulty of lugging our purchases if we took the LRT.

Arriving at Divisoria a little before 12 noon after hurdling the horrendous traffic, we had lunch first at the food court of Tutuban Center Mall. After which, in less than 2 hours, we were able to buy everything in FUEGO.

On our way back, I took the chance to IG some architectural landmarks.


[hardbound BIEBER]

For days on end, the birthday girl & I have been looking for this BIEBER auto-bio book, JUST GETTING STARTED. Yes, the Belieber wants JB's book as her birthday gift!

Several bookstores after (Fully-Booked BHS, National Bookstore M!2 & SM Taytay branches), we finally found a copy & bought the last piece at Powerbooks (Serendra). 


[M!2 store finds - part 2]

My youngest & I wandered around the mall, window shopping mostly at Market! Market! last Friday. While at the Gift Market (G/F), we found these items, most of them practical things to have around the house:

Flower vase made of soft plastic which holds your fresh flowers when filled with water


[COLOR PEG series : BEIGE]

BEIGE brings to mind feelings of warmth, comfort, and security. It is often described as natural, down-to-earth, and conventional, but brown or beige can also be sophisticated. - Color Psychology

Most people find beige boring but I don't agree. Beiges or browns bring out the warmth & sophistication in a room. Just look at these nice beige spaces I found:



[nature's lovelies]

I must admit. I am no green thumb. When we did the landscape of our front yard, the plants I picked were just those green blade-like ones, horse tails & bamboo trees. Very  Japanese. No blooms, no frills.

Three years later, as expected, I have bought 2 sets of horsetails because the original batch had to be replaced since they just dried up & withered away. And the bamboo trees? Well, they have grown not as healthy as before, so I am planning to have someone replant them somewhere else. =(

Two weeks ago, I bought these three orchids & placed them in our balcony. The minute I saw how pretty they look arranged in-a-row, I got smitten. ;)


[shiitake & nori wasabi]

After getting Jill a haircut, the 2 of us had an early dinner at Tokyo Tokyo. My youngest had her favorite beef misono while I tried these:


Tired of the usual ice cream in a cone? Well, here's a novel way of eating the cold treat-in a wafer roll at only Php 25 a piece!

We discovered KOOLSTIX in SM Taytay when Jill asked me to buy her one. Since I wanted to try it too, I bought 2 capuccino ice cream in dark chocolate & original flavored wafer rolls topped with candy sprinkles & chocolate syrup.

Felt like a kid again after tasting it. ;) I liked the combined flavors of capuccino & dark chocolate.

Because of its simple ingredients, I think one can DIY this at home by using STIK-O's (or the street-hawked, biggie barquillos) with any coffee-flavored ice cream &  with the topping of your choice. Just squeeze in the ice cream using a pastry tube or a plastic condiment dispenser.

What do you think? ;)



Have you been to SOLENAD 2?

This cool stop-over in Nuvali Sta. Rosa, Laguna has shopping & dining reasons for you to come back.

We passed by Solenad 2 at Nuvali, Sta. Rosa en route to my eldest daughter's college dorm one Monday morning. We came from the Bench outlet shop at Paseo de Sta Rosa to buy her good friend K's birthday gift & stopped by here.

We've been to this place before & have tried dining at the Toast Box, Army Navy Club & just recently, Sumo Sam. There are also milk tea shops, salons, day spas, & shoe stores to look into. For food staples or hardware needs, Robinson's Supermarket & True Value are just nearby.

Definitely, a one-stop lifestyle mall for you to go to on weekends with your family. 


[NEVER look away]

A distraught father had to rush to his hometown because of a family crisis: his son, 18 years young, took his own life & was found dead at home. This came as a shock especially to the father since the last time he got in touch with his son was just days before & he wasn't aware of anything that might have bothered him.

The father is someone that hubby & I personally know. He is an engineer based in Manila while his family is in the province somewhere in the Visayas. His wife, as far as I know, stayed at home. So, what went wrong? I suppose the boy was in a serious dilemma but either his parents were too busy to notice or care about it or the boy just wasn't close to his parents, enough to confide in them.

This comes to mind a recent heart-to-heart talk with a daughter. I found her in tears & asked her why. She then poured her heart out about the concerns that have been stressing her out. I began to cry myself affected by what she's been going through, something that I wasn't even aware of all this time I was with her. I thought it best that my hubby join me in the talk so I led her to where her dad was. She then told us how the pressures of schoolwork have gotten into her. We then told her to go easy on herself & just  do  things as they come. She has so many fears & insecurities but we reminded her of how she was able to surpass all the difficulties she faced before because of prayers & hard work. After our talk, we saw & felt how comforted she became after she unburdened her problems to us. What if she found no one to turn to & confide in? Or she found someone but ill-advised her?


[tea TATTLE]

I finally had a sip of the milk tea newbie this side of town. I have been seeing the mall ad for quite some time now. Glad I finally tried it. Today.

After doing the groceries, I went to TEA TATTLE & bought the Okinawa-flavored milk tea in grande size. It cost me Php 70 for this, complete with the black pearls.



After a long time, the four of us were able to go out for dinner again on a Friday evening. We tried Sariwon Korean Barbeque at the BHS Central at BGC.



My girls bought this nail art kit in Fully Booked at BHS.