Monday, January 31, 2011

I have found my Frog Prince!

It's 14 days left before Valentine's Day. Have you found your Frog Prince? I already have... sort of. He is safely slumbering inside a jar and is just waiting for me to wake him up.

I don't need magic to turn this frog into a Prince. Click on the jump on how I will do it.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Son, the Lizard and the Cockroach

This happened while I was washing the dishes and my son was in the living room playing with his creepy crawler toys.

My Son to Lizard: Go home now or else cockroach will eat you.

My Son to Me: Mommy, the Lizard won't go away! Where does he live?

Me to My Son: Don't worry he will go home soon. He lives just outside our house.

My Son to Lizard pretending to be Cockroach: I will eat you, Lizard. Here I go!

Funny sounds in the backdrop as if the cockroach is really eating the lizard...

I should spend more time playing with my son and teaching him good stuffs because cockroaches don't eat lizards. 

Last night, I tried to teach him The Lord's Prayer so that Jesus and Santa will be happy. He said, "I don't want them to be happy." I told him if they are happy, they will give him toys. He did not buy it, instead he said, "I already have many toys." He proceeded with the Prayer to the Guardian Angel and then said afterwards, "Jesus, please give me more toys on Christmas. Thank you!" I know why he doesn't want to learn yet The Lord's Prayer, because it is longer than the prayer that he already knows. 

He just amaze me every time. But I am not giving up, he will hear the prayer every night before he goes to bed even though he doesn't want to listen and follow me. Haha!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Favorite Photo of the Day: I hope grandma will forgive me.

I mentioned that my son was not allowed to eat at fast food chains... well, I took him there one time just because. And I wanted to know if he will really not eat. Obviously, he likes their food. I took this photo and posted it in my Facebook account and not longer after that, my grandma commented. He's caught in the act.

Tonight's Dinner: Chicken Tinola (Chicken Ginger Stew)

Hi! How's your Saturday? 

Nothing too magnificent or odd happened today... I just cooked my son's favorite tinola (Chicken ginger stew) for lunch only to find out that we will go to my cousin's 18th birthday party at noon. We ended up not eating the tinola like what we had planned. On the brighter side, we had a feast. When I say feast, I really meant feast. My cousin served grilled chicken, pork barbecue, kare-kare and lumpia as the main entree and slices of sweet seedless watermelon for dessert. Yummy! Oh, I almost forgot, grandma cooked again her famous yellow rice which made us full big time.

The tinola... we had it for supper.

If you want to try it, here are the ingredients:

1 whole chicken cut into small parts
1 small papaya or vegetable pear (sayote) cut into small pieces
1/2 cup chili leaves
1 chicken cube (optional)
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic
1 small ginger cut into strips
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3 tablespoons fish sauce or patis
1.5 liters of water
salt to adjust taste

1. In a pot, heat oil and saute onion, garlic and ginger.
2. Add chicken and cover the pot for 5 minutes to allow the juice to come out. TIP: Allowing the juice to come out will make the stock taste even better.
3. Add chicken cube, water and fish sauce. Allow to boil for 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Add the papaya or vegetable pear and let it soften. Do not overcook.
5. Once the papaya or vegetable pear has been cooked, turn off the heat and put in the chili leaves. TIP: Overcooked chili leaves will make the stock bitter.
6. Adjust the taste by adding salt.


Tinola was mentioned in Chapter 3 of Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not). In the scene, Crisostomo Ibarra was having dinner at Kapitan (Captain) Tiago's house together with Padre (Friar) Damaso. Ibarra got the best parts of the chicken while Padre Damaso got the tail and neck part.

The tinola has been part of the Filipino dining table probably even before the Spaniards came. It is the most popular of all stew dishes in the Philippines simply because it is easy to cook and can be afford by any household. I personally consider it as a comfort food because my happiest childhood memories involve the tinola. I remember the time my grandma taught me how to cook it, how I buried a chili into my sister's rice when the lunch was tinola, the time I gathered chili leaves from our backyard when I was a kid and the time I cooked my first tinola that was grandmother approved. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Ankle Sprain

I got so clumsy today that I sprained my right ankle. Now, I could not move around the house without watching my steps and reaching for something I can hold on to.

Photo from A. D. A. M.
Sprain is a medical condition wherein one or more of the ligaments of the ankle is over stretched, torn or partially torn. Sprains happen when the ankle rotates beyond its normal range of motion like what happens when you trip, you fall or jump and then you lose balance.

There are three types of ankle sprain:

1. Inversion ankle sprain (this is what happened to me). This happens when the foot becomes too much inverted (you turn your foot inwards). In this type of ankle sprain, the lateral ligament--anterior talofibular ligament--of the ankle becomes over stretched. According to studies, 90% of ankle sprains are inversion type.

2. Eversion ankle sprain. This is the opposite of inversion. The medial ligaments become over stretched when this type of sprain happens.

3. High ankle sprain. This least common type of sprain happens when there is a sudden twisting of the foot. The large ligaments above the ankle are involved in this type of sprain. This is common among football, soccer and basketball players.

Sprains can also be typed according to the extent of the damage to the ligaments. Mine is grade 1 since the ligament was just over stretched and needs only rest. Grade 2 is when there is already a slight tear on the ligament. Grade 3, the most severe case, is when the ligament is completely torn and the sprain already involves the blood vessels and muscles.

You only need to remember rice if you have sprain. It is not the rice that we eat. Rice stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Ice constricts the blood vessels, therefore reducing inflammation but alternate cold compress with hot compress every five minutes. Start and end with cold compress. Elevating the sprained ankle also helps to reduce swelling. If the pain is severe, it is still best to consult a doctor.

To get more information about ankle sprains, check out these links:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Kids say the darndest things

Kids say the darndest things... No, it is not Bill Cosby's show in the late 1990s. 

I say kids say the darndest things because my son said something that really amazed me and made me laugh.

He's watching Monsters, Inc. when I asked him to hand me my hair clip from the cabinet. He immediately got up, reached for my clip and handed it to me. I said 'thank you' and I asked him what will he say next. I was expecting him to say 'welcome' but instead he said, 'maraming salamat sa Eat Bulaga!' (thank you very much to Eat Bulaga!). It's what contestants say whenever they win something from the show. Well, it's pretty obvious that my son's been watching a lot of noon time game shows. A few days ago, I asked him what's the title of the noon time drama he's watching and he said the title without hesitation. I guess I'll have to ask him what happened in the drama in case I miss an episode.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Pursuit of Happyness... cried me a river

You have a heart of stone if you were not moved by the movie The Pursuit of Happyness. I saw this movie three years ago and I could still remember the many heartbreaking scenes. One particular scene that made me cry was the subway scene wherein he tricked his son to sleep in the men's toilet because they don't have a home. I really could feel Will Smith's emotions on that scene.

The Pursuit of Happyness is my most favorite drama movie of all time.

Salisbury Steak and Cakes at Red Ribbon

My son's favorite Red Ribbon rice meal... Salisbury steak with mashed potato and corn and carrots. For this meal, you also get a glass of drink of your choice and a slice of their cake of the day.

Whenever I take my son on a dinner date, we always go to Red Ribbon. It turned out to be our date place because our grandmother told my son that he's not allowed to eat at famous children's fast food chains. Being a smart boy that he is, he said he will just eat at Red Ribbon since our grandmother did not mention it on the list of 'not allowed'.

Yummy Chocolate Fudge Cake that I got as a birthday gift from my office mates. Chocolate lovers will definitely enjoy this  sweet treat.

I am choosy when it comes to cakes. I don't like cakes with mocha or has the buttery taste. My favorite is their Mango Cake... because I like mangoes. Last Saturday (which is my birthday), I got Black Forest (thanks Allan) and Chocolate Marjolaine (thanks Leo)... divine!

If you want to sample their yummy confections, click here for the list of their branches.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

T-Bone Steak and Tuna Sisig at Country Side

T-bone steak and tuna sisig on sizzling plate! Yummy!

These are just two of my favorite dishes at Country Side. My relationship with Country Side started when I was in college. It is just a small restaurant in front of the university where we usually have lunch... and where I usually spend my day's allowance.

The interior of one of their branches.
The main theme of the restaurant is the Wild West. They serve a wide range of Western dishes with a touch of Filipino to suit the palates of Filipino foodies. One of their best sellers is the T-bone steak with special mushroom sauce and buttered vegetables served on a sizzling plate. An order comes with a rice of your choice for the ultimate gastronomic experience. For Php130 per plate, it can be shared by two. Another best seller is their tuna sisig which is perfect if you are on a diet.

Howdy Cowboy!
If you happen to be in the Philippines, I recommend you sample Country Side dishes. For a list of their branches, click here.

Today I Thank: Everyone who greeted me on my birthday

From here.

Today, I thank everyone who made my birthday really special.

I prepared some foods earlier this day for my relatives and friends. It went well and everyone that I expected to be there were there. It is my most memorable birthday yet.

I turned 29 today. This is a momentous event in my life since next year I will be on my 30s. I could not believe how time flies so fast.

Guys, thank you so much for always giving me reasons to live my life.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Freaking Auto Corrects! Hahaha!


These made me laugh, cry and laugh some more. Good thing I do not enable the auto correct in my phone.


Damn You Auto Correct!!!


50 Questions Challenge, Day 33: Are there things in life you wish you could reverse or make right?

Photo from here.
If I could turn back the clock, I'd turn it to the time when I was still a medical student. It's really my dream to become a doctor but due to some unavoidable circumstances, I had to stop. And stopping was the silliest decision I have ever made in my entire life. I am actually still regretting it. Whenever I remember how bad a decision it was, I just tell myself that if I pursued it, I wouldn't have had the most precious man in my life... my son.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

No Longer an Aquarian

I am no longer an Aquarius. I am now a Capricorn.

How come?

There's a new zodiac sign--Ophiuchus (November 30 to December 17).

According to Explore Astrology, Capricorns are:

"Very ambitious, driven by the need for success, money, position and authority. Their career and succeeding in it is very important to them, so much so that they often prefer to be in charge. But despite their aspirations, they are also very grounded and practical people."

Photo from here.

I don't know if this change in zodiac sign has something to do with my moods recently. Ha!

Capricorns also tend to suffer from bone and joint diseases like arthritis, rheumatism, and other orthopedic problems. I am osteopenic. Okay, this freaks me out.

I checked the personality traits of Aquarius and it no longer matches mine. I guess I will have to live with being born under the Capricorn sign from now on. Thank goodness it is only in slum book that I will have to write my Zodiac sign. And I do not have an Aquarius tattoo to change.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Today I Thank: My Son's Nanny

My son's nanny is his third and hopefully will be his last. She's just 21 years old, also with a son who just turned 1 and waits for his husband to come home once a week from his work in Manila. I hired her because of the recommendation of my grandmother and because I really need to have someone to look after my son while I work from 8 to 5.

She's hardworking and doesn't complain if my son throws tantrums at her. Just this day, Mamalou (as my son fondly calls her) took my son to a play place while I was having a meeting with a client. I know that it is hard to leave your own child to work and I applaud her for making sacrifices to help her husband earn money for the family. Having her around makes life easier for me and I thank her for taking care of my son and loving him as if he is her own. 

God bless you, Mamalou!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Today I Thank: My Son's Pediatrician

Today I thank my son's pediatrician who did not charge me for consultation.

My son was sick since Wednesday due to cough and colds. I took him this afternoon to his pediatrician and he was given antibiotics and cough syrup. He is cordial and you can sense genuine care for his patient. He talked to my son about what he should not eat while he has cough as if he's talking to his own son. My son nodded to each reminder from his doctor as if he truly understands.

God bless you, Doc!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

LOL! What a funny captcha!

I encountered this funny captcha while typing a comment for a blog post that I liked. Haha! In Filipino, peste means nuisance. Am I a nuisance? Haha!

More funny captchas here.

Louis Vuitton and Gucci bags up for grabs!

Who could resist a Louis Vuitton and Gucci bag? No one! Especially if you could get it for FREE! Go ahead, click on the photo or this link.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This made me feel good

Wanna know who gave it to me? Click on the jump.

50 Questions Challenge, Day 32: What is something you have never tried but would like to?

Photo from here.

If there is one thing I would like to try, it is to bungee jump.

I am not really a thrill seeker, I just want to try it because everyone who has tried it said it was fun. I want to experience jumping from a high platform, feel the wind, experience gravity in its most powerful state, scream my heart out and to be pulled back by an elastic rope upside down.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Birthday Wishlist

I will turn a year older in just a few weeks and I am already making plans on how to celebrate it. My initial plan is to celebrate my son's birthday on my birthday since his falls on a weekday and mine is on a weekend. I am excited already. I am not going to have a big bash, I just wanted to celebrate it with my loved ones.

And since it is my birthday, I think I deserve to at least make my very own birthday wishlist.

I love reading books and one of the books I would like to have is the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. I went to the bookstore yesterday but they do not have a stock. So, hopefully before this month ends, I can get my very own copy. You see, I would like to go back to being a child every once in a while. =)

This is a weird item to have on a birthday but I love to cook so if I get a new cookware set, it would be highly appreciated.

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue is my most favorite perfume of all time. A refill would be nice. Haha! I have been using a lot of my son's Johnson & Johnson's cologne lately that I am missing already the sweet and fresh scent of Light Blue.

Bath & Body Works body lotion--Twilight Woods or Sensual Amber. (I hope you read this my dear Aunt.)

A gift certificate for a day at the spa. I miss a good back massage.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Day of Pampering

I had a day of pampering and I love it! I think I should do it more often.

I left the house at around 1PM after my Aunt took my son to their house to be a nanny for a day. I left 30 minutes after. 

My hair before the liberating and much needed hair cut. It is dryer than the Sahara.

It was not my plan initially to pamper myself from head to foot, I only planned to have a haircut. But, the moment I sat on the salon chair and a salon assistant gave me a back massage while waiting for the stylist, I said to myself I need to have a good body massage. 

I am wearing my favorite cropped pants. The salon has a comfy chair, I can sit on it all day .

The stylist snipped 6 inches of my hair... it was a liberating moment for me. Imagine having to dry my waist long hair each day... tedious! I could not understand why some people cry over cutting their hair short. Anyway, after 30 minutes of sitting in the salon, the stylist said I am good to go. My hair is still long but has layers to give it body. I love it! I feel like I lost 5 pounds off my weight for just cutting my hair. Haha!

Lots and lots of hair products. I could not imagine using it all on my hair. I don't even use a conditioner.

Next stop, massage. I have been hearing good feedback about this massage place but I haven't tried it not even once. It is called D'Vibes, a cooperative business of the association for the blind. Aside from having a good massage, I am also helping them have their income. I chose a chair full body massage. Having a massage is the best decision I have made this day. It was a heavenly experience... I actually almost fell asleep. Ate Evelyn (the massage therapist) is heaven sent... she's so good, I did not even feel ticklish. I am going to go there at least once a month to have a massage.

Combo 9.

I noticed that I haven't eaten anything yet when my stomach began to make embarrassing sounds so I went to my favorite fast food chain--Wendy's. I had chicken breast fillet sandwich, fries and iced tea. 

My next destination was something I had to think about several times. I took a walk for a while inside the department store while deciding if I should do it or not. I decided I should do it since I am already there standing outside the facial care center. Yes, I had a facial. I was dead nervous asking the receptionist about their services. It's my first time to do it... please, bear with me. I was there, standing in front of their huge list of services, reading everything when I only went there for a regular facial cleaning. It didn't take me too long to go inside. I felt stupid, really. A lady instructed me to wash my face first before I proceed to bed number 7. That bed is where my face lost its virginity. The procedure went for an hour... it was the longest hour of my entire life. Since it was my first time, I had no idea how a facial would went. The lady massaged first my face with a cream, then steamed it and then... this is the worst part... scraped my face with a tool. I had to interrupt her with what she's doing because it really hurts. After an hour, which seemed like forever, the lady showed me everything that she got off my face. She shouldn't have. I wasn't proud. She ended the procedure with a laser treatment and a toner... I felt the difference.

Well, that's what happened in my day of pampering. I was satisfied at how it went, I realized how much I have forgotten myself. I have been punishing my body by working too hard and yet I do not compensate it with pampering. 

Sorry, my body.

I am going to do it more often, I promise.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Value Added Customer Service: The Employee's Guide for Creating Satisfied Customers by Tom Reilly

It sounds complicated but it is not.  I learned a lot from this book.

The book tells us that everyone is a salesperson and we all have our own customers.  The book also mentioned the nine universal rules of business which I think is a great tool to understand the ins and outs of marketing and selling. Here are the rules:

1. Every employee is a salesperson. Everyone in the organization sells something to someone.
2. Not everybody believes rule number 1. This rule has a relation to rule number 4.
3. Not everyone behaves according to rule number 1.
4. Every employee has a customer.
5. Value-added service is not a spectator sport.
6. Each value-added team member affects the creation of satisfied customers.
8. Value is personal, perceptual and performance driven.
9. Everyone must belong to something.

The book also listed the most common situations where customers become irritated. Here are those:

1. Putting them on hold for an extended periods of time,
2. Mis-spelled names,
3. Shipping the wrong materials,
4. Shipping to wrong address,
5. Printing invoices with incorrect pricing,
6. Failing to return phone calls or to properly acknowledge them.

And here are the things the customer loves:

1. Smile on your face,
2. Using customer's name often,
3. Thanking them,
4. Not leaving someone on hold too long,
5. Offering assistance,
6. Correcting errors long before they become problems.

These are all true.  There's a lot to learn in the book.

If you have a business or a student, this book is a great reference about customer service.

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 is the Year of the Rabbit

Photo from here.

The year 2011 is the year of the rabbit.  According to the Chinese zodiac, people who were born on the year of the rabbit are known to be articulate, talented and ambitious.  Rabbits are also known to be calm, sensitive and compassionate. They are also financially lucky (I think it has some association with their ability to reproduce). It is no wonder why the lucky colors of the year are green, orange and purple... the most common colors of paper currencies.

If you are born on the year of the pig, sheep and dog (like me)--this year is your year!  So, make the most out this luck, pursue your dream of having your own business (talking to self) and remember that we will never know if we will fail or succeed unless we try.

Have a prosperous new year!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Great American Circus

Photo form here.

My son and I, together with some relatives, made the most out the vacation.  Yesterday, we went to SMX at SM Mall of Asia to watch the Great American Circus.  It was our first time to watch a real live circus.  It's different from the one we see in peryas during fiestas. There were no live chicken eating, no disabled people featured as half mermaid-half human, no oddities at all--just amazing feats regular people can't do.

We arrived at SMX an hour before the show, we waited in line for about thirty minutes before they opened the gates.

The show features acrobats, daredevils--including the Guinness Book of World Records holder for crossbow, jugglers, clowns and a Michael Jackson impersonator.  The highlight of the show was the "Wheel of Death" where two people ran inside two rings just like a ferris wheel.  I really enjoyed watching the aerial dancers.

If you want to try something different and see death defying stunts, you may still catch up on their last two days of performance.  You may get your tickets at all SM Ticket Net outlets, or you may call 02-891-9999.

The show is produced by Nicholas Harris Entertainment and Tropical Productions, Inc. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

50 Questions Challenge, Day 31: What do you want to pass on to your child?

I have forgotten about this challenge, but, better be late than never.

I had the most memorable and productive year.  I know that what I had in 2010 is the result of my being optimistic.  So, if there is one thing (not really a thing) that I would really like my son to have, it is my being optimistic. I know that he is.  He doesn't give up easily on anything especially if it has meaning to him. I may not have the riches but the right attitude towards life is something that will make him survive the surprises of life.


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