Monday, May 7, 2018

DYSON Cyclone V10 Absolute -- the newest member of our family!

Say HELLO to our newest baby!!! :) 

I know you'd probably want to see an unboxing video but I got so excited and just dove right into using it! 

Oh well, I'm really really happy with this purchase - I LOVE it!!! :)




So far I've tried it on our mattress, floors (wooden, tiled) and car. In all instances, it did not let me down. And really, thank God for that because this is sooo easy to use. I am saying this as someone who came from households (my parents and parents-in-law) that use the Rainbow (water filter) vacuum. 

What I appreciate most about it? Aside from all the tools / attachments that came in the box (crevice, mini motorized brush, torque head, soft roller, combination, soft brush), it is designed as a grab-and-go kind of vacuum. Meaning -- I'm able to vacuum immediately when I have the time, don't need to deal with heavy and very long cords, and just bring it back to the dock to charge. Dyson promises 60 minutes of vacuum time on low and personally that's just right for the kind of cleaning I am able to do. You know how it is with kids - it is nearly impossible to devote a whole day for cleaning. After a few hours somebody's bound to call for mommy. :D




I know that despite all the technological advances, this wouldn't be the best vacuum for everyone. But for our current lifestyle, home size and needs, this suits us perfectly! :)


Making Kiam Peng with Amah

My husband's grandma

Hello dear readers! I'm so happy I get the chance to blog today because the kids & hubby are all asleep! Ho ho ho what a good day it is! :)


Sticky Rice, Plain Rice

So I hope I don't confuse you with this post. I am sharing with you what went down the day my hubby decided to let his Amah / grandma teach me how to make Kiam Peng or Chinese Sticky Rice. I really wish that this could have been a recipe post instead but TBH, it has been more than a month since this 'tutorial' so I may have forgotten some bits already. To be fair to myself (may ganon!!?!?), I was able to closely replicate the dish right after we went home. I was so surprised that my father-in-law had the ingredients sent to our place so that I can experiment / practice actually cook it!

Rehydrated Hibe or Hebi

But don't ya worry!! I'm finishing a video which will show you snippets of how it's done :) That is, if you're patient enough to watch the entirety of it and if you're good in catching certain Chinese words because that's one limitation I have hehehe..Yup, even if it comes to food!

Rehydrated Shiitake Mushrooms and Pork slices
So let's just keep this blog post light and I'll try to remember the tips I gathered so I can share them with you :)

1. Rehydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms by immersing it in hot water. Don't throw away the water as you can still use it while cooking this. In a separate bowl, rehydrate your dried shrimps (hebi/hibe) too!

2. If you use pork that's cooked adobo style, get some of those adobo sauce and use it too!


3. Make sure to measure your rice well and remember that it has a corresponding amount of water to be used.


4. Amah uses this kind of rice cooker but I personally prefer Zojirushi's Fuzzy Logic rice cooker. I have been using it for almost a year and it's almost fail-safe for cooking rice even Mixed Rice - or that which you cook with meat and veggies. 

PS. It has been my life-saver during the times we didn't have househelp and our little boy was starting on solids. I just clean the rice, put it there with corresponding amount of water (there are water lines to guide you) plus assorted veggies et voila! Instant congee!! Well, not really instant as it takes almost an hour but still, no need to keep on stirring and watching over the pot!

Also? It's the only kind of rice cooker that cooks black rice the way it should be done! No disrespect to on/off rice cookers but it has been true for me. And also the main reason why I splurged so much on a rice cooker *wink!*


5. I don't know why but they said to use this kind of onion..the small ones. It tastes good overall so I don't dare question it.



Boiled mushroom stems

6. What are these, you ask? Well I found out that these are the discarded mushroom stems. Amah isn't one to just throw away food so she boils it and she made us drink it as tea. I love mushrooms so no problem with me! :D



In essence, she sauteed most of the ingredients (I promise you'll see it in the video I'll be posting soon) and then mixed them all in the rice cooker and just let it do it's job! It's soo tasty and good enough as a rice meal on its own. Personally? I think this works best with light soup...soooo yummy!!



Saturday, May 5, 2018

Kiss the Miss Goodbye - Bridal Shower for Ai

The 'titas' are out tonight for Aileen's Bridal Shower...woohoo!!! :D 



Aileen is the 5th in our high school barkada to get married. I don't know if that is one of the factors but surprisingly, everyone agreed to not go wild as in 'walwalan' wild but to tone it down a bit - buffet style.

As for me? I absolutely think we did the right thing! Oh my goodness, the spread and I mean everything was just sooo perf! The ladies enjoyed unlimited wine (not so for this still breastfeeding mommy) too! Not bad na talaga, everyone had their fill and tried their best to hide the tummies.

Ai was chauffered from Makati to SM Aura in BGC whilst blindfolded. I don't know if she took a peek. I'd like to believe that she humored us by not doing so. Hahaha :) Such a good sport, she was still blindfolded while walking thru the mall. Doncha' worry, our friends fetched her and assisted her going to NIU by Vikings.

Kathy, our host, prepared a couple of games and you know what? That was really all we needed to let out the kinky silly side of this bridal shower. You'll know when I post the video hahaha. I promise to link it here!

It's really a meow-tastic bridal shower (complete with blackout x2) and one that is made up of girly fantasies married with a bit of mid-life wisdom. I wonder who's next and what we will all decide on next time? Hmmm... :D

Here's to our girl, Aileen, may all your wildest dreams come true! Raaaarrr... CHAROT! Hahahaha :) 































Sunday, March 18, 2018

Inspiralized Chili Boss Bowl Goodness

Hello friends! I made this chili bowl today from the Body Boss method cookbook and it seems a lot of my friends and family on social media are interested to know how it's done. So here I am blogging to share how I made it + the spiralizing part. (It really is quite easy to do) Hope you'll like it! :)




Whenever there are recipes from fitness sources, I would apply caution and not expect too much because they are usually not so tasty. Healthy, yes but the tasty part is still up for debate. Before deciding to make this, I checked first from the community page for reviews. And what do you know, it seems that this is one of the fan faves in the group! Of course I had to make it! Aside from the fact that it is included in the Week 1 menu plan. Hah! :p

INGREDIENTS:


2 onions, finely diced
2 large carrots, grated -- in my version, I spiralized it, it looks like carrot pasta - see video below
4 sticks of celery, sliced
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
500 g lean beef mince
4 Tbsp tomato paste
800 g tomato puree -- I just use Spaghetti sauce
2 red bell pepper, deseeded & chopped
800 g red kidney beans, drained
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
a bunch of cilantro, chopped
200 g baby spinach leaves
1000 ml water
salt & pepper to taste
1 avocado, chopped
1 lime, juice only
2 Tbsp nut oil of choice -- I use almond oil because it's what's available now 

The "Trinity" of Cajun Cooking -- Onions, Celery and Red Bell Pepper

PROCEDURE:

1. Heat 2 Tbsp of your nut oil and saute the onion, carrot & celery for approximately 3 minutes, until softened. 

Obviously, I forgot to add the carrots during this step teehee... :D

2. Add cumin, paprika, beef mince and cook until meat has browned for approx. 5 minutes.

It looks so *EXTRA* hahaha..

3. Add bell pepper, beans, tomato paste and puree (or spaghetti sauce). Pour in 4 cups of water and let it simmer for about 30 minutes until thick.

4. Season with salt & pepper and add in the cherry tomatoes. Since I made a big batch, I didn't add the tomatoes right away for the entire thing..just for the portion I will.

5. Before serving, fold in the cilantro (love this!!) and spinach.

6. Divvy into bowls, add some chopped chili or chili flakes and avocado. Also a squeeze of lime juice if you so prefer.

7. Heap on top of veggies or brown rice. I prefer quinoa :)

That's it!!! :) You can refrigerate or freeze to be consumed for later. Or otherwise, feel free to halve the recipe :)

I love it, I've had 3 bowls today and it's really filling. Eat with steamed quinoa or veggies, or even toasted bread...ahhhhh, heaven! :)

About the Spiralizer

I'm using Cuisinart's CTG-00-SPI Food Spiralizer which I purchased from Lander's Otis. When I was still shopping around, I would much have preferred the Paderno spiralizer as it has more blades / spiralizing options but it was a few thousands more expensive and I was not willing to shell out more money that time for a device I wasn't sure I'd get to use often.

I learned to love Cuinart's spiralizer version because it's simple to use and not too cumbersome to clean up. Plus it also has a "catching bowl", if that's what it's called haha. The only thing is that it only has 3 spiralizing options - thick julienne, thin julienne, and ribbon. That's okay though because it covers what I need to do. 

I usually make "Zoodles" or zucchini noodles and use that as the "veggie pasta" for spaghetti or even simple pesto pasta concoctions. You can also spiralize cucumbers for an interesting looking salad. What I'd love to do next and I hope I get to do it correctly, is to spiralize a potato, similar to how they do it during parties, and then air fry it. But, no luck for now hahaha :)

Cuisinart Spiralizer
See how I do it in this short video. I used my phone's front camera so this video is showing the mirror image. 

Spiralized carrots using the thin julienne setting. It does look like pasta, right?




Affiliate Disclosure:
In order for me to support my blogging and social media activities, I may receive monetary compensation for links to products from this post, at absolutely no cost to you. However, I only recommend products that I personally love and use myself.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

What's your favorite activity? Here's mine..

So I've been asked this question - "What's your favorite activity"? 

I know it's really simple to answer... I mean it's almost a tie between cooking and *ahem* eating *ahem* but this question has got me thinking. You see, there's a lot and a whole new facet to marriage & motherhood and the many things we moms must do that sometimes, in the sea of parenting, work and other adult responsibilities, we lose the sense of our personal hobbies and activities that brings us joy.

Riding the cable car -- Family time in Tagaytay Highlands

So after thinking long and hard, I guess preferences for certain activities indeed change with the passing of time and the changes in one's life. Speaking for myself, I guess it's not just in the physical act of cooking or eating out -- it's in sharing not only meals, but also time, stories and adventures with family and friends alike. 

And not only that, I realize that it's also become a favorite activity of mine to document these dining and out of town trips through blogs and vlogs - wherein the calories may have long gone, but the memories still remain! That's a win in my book! Hahaha pak, ganern! :D

Seriously, I know how they say that this season of life where the kids are still small are all so fleeting? I completely agree! That's why whenever I have the time, I make sure to always bring my camera so I can always document whatever small, big or even silly milestone we are privileged to witness.

Me, documenting my girls who are also co-brokers :) Taken at La Cocina de Tita Moning

I'll be sharing some of the vlogs I've made, memories of which I still hold dearly and often reminisce about :)

Our trip to Real, Quezon with the family. The kids really enjoyed the sun, sand, and waves


A nice staycation in Zambales. It's not as roughed up as when I was still single (camping, trekking, etc.) but still a nice way to spend time with family (minus the traffic)


This time with friends. We were wrapping up a short beach vacation in Batangas and decided to have our meals in Twin Lakes Tagaytay. Special time with my friends and their kids too!


The first ever vlog I made using my videocam. The longest time I spent editing as well! :) I was still learning the editing software but still had fun when I produced this output :p


I hope you enjoyed my vlogs! When I sit and edit these on my computer? I don't actually notice how long I've been there, except when my little baby calls out for his mommy :D 

I'm happy to share these with you because vlogging captures the real me. If you have the time and a nice phone camera especially with Expert & Ultra HD features like #OPPOF5, please try vlogging to document your trips because I'm very sure that it will definitely, also #CaptureTheRealYou :) 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Supplier Review: KidzTown PH

Ready for another party supplier review? I actually have 3 in the party entertainment category but I'll go for this first. Gear up for KidzTown PH mobile playground! :)

Photo credit to our photographer, Cradles by Anne Naig


Isn't this the cutest thing??? If the pictures don't tell you enough, this is just so much fun! :) I mean, if I were a toddler? I'd be in playground heaven for sure! 


What does their package include? 


-There are 6 mobile themed playhouses with full accessories. These are the children’s hospital, police
department, the bakery, home sweet home, build zone, and town library.

- 4 ride-ons (Tayo bus, Little Tikes Police coupe, Little Tikes Pink coupe, Construction truck)

- 1 mega blocks table with chairs

- 2 staff

- 2 dozen children’s socks and 2 dozen adult socks

- Fence and safety rubber matting

- Transportation to venue, Ingress (set-up), and egress (pack up)




Of course, all of this comes at a premium but it is so worth it! At least in my humble opinion :)  At the most basic, I like that it is clean, safe and so much fun. It is well thought of and really goes well with the mix of ages of the kids we invited to celebrate with us. Even our just turned 1-year old boy immersed himself with playing blocks. I mean, even Little Miss Z wanted to get our photo-op over and done with so she can already dive into this mini playland. I'm just glad that the two had a great time at their party. 

As I observed during the party, the kids' different personalities can really be seen wherein those who wanted to participate in games were front and center near the stage and those who were more into self-directed play were busying themselves at the KidzTown mobile playhouse installation. 

And you know what? Most of our guests who have kids really went early to the party so they can play all they want while waiting for our program to start. Kids playing (of course, with parental supervision) + parents catching up with friends and also having fun? Yeah, not bad at all :D


Tips:


1. Make sure your event venue has ample space for their playhouse set-up. It would be best to send them a layout or floor plan so they can prepare for this in advance.

2. Announce to your guests that you would be having playhouses. I received feedback that some kids were really very eager to come just because of this. Guests coming in early, happy kids, everyone having a great time. Really, it's a win-win situation.

I do suggest having them start way ahead of the party program. That way, the early birds can enjoy while you wait for other guests to start pouring in. Believe me, the kids playing here will not be bored! :)

3. While KidzTown does provide a dozen socks for kids and adults, still remind your guests to bring their own :)

4. If you want to have a fun and non-stressful party, I really think you can get away with just having the playhouses + food catering services as party basics. Well, you just have to adjust or extend the time for the playhouses. Inform them in advance so they can plan their ingress and also so they can let you know how much they will charge for the hours in excess of 3.

5. They also charge an extra for non ground floor venues. Make sure to read the contract well.


My only regret? It's that "I" wasn't able to play in the KidzTown mobile playhouses! Boohoo hahaha :)

This supplier was very easy to talk to, provided hassle-free kiddie entertainment and was really lots of fun for the kiddos!

I DEFINITELY recommend them! Two thumbs up! :)

















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