Saturday, February 25, 2017

Cookbooks are <3

Without a doubt, one of the best Christmas gifts I have ever received!! Two of my must-watch men on TLC!

Jamie Oliver's take on the kitchen is something truly refreshing. It also helps that he's easy on the eyes and has that arrestingly boyish charm. I love his 15-minute meals and am behind his advocacy for reviving cooking & eating healthy meals. Ditto for him supporting their local food producers. Someday when I find the space, I'd love to recreate his herb garden, kitchen and maybe have a little backyard grill of my own :)

Although he seems a little more brooding and a little bit mysterious, I also enjoy watching Anthony Bourdain. I also have to give credit to his researchers and producers (basically everyone else who makes the show possible) of The Layover for all the incredible food joints they are able to showcase in Bourdain's 24-48 hours in a particular city. That's like The Amazing Race of foodies like me! I also feel happy when I see the immense pride of his hosts, sharing not only meals with him but also a little bit of their culture and history.

Thank you so much to Tita Ninang J & Tito Ninong R Manalaysay (& family) for this thoughtful and much treasured collection ☺️
Oh I do hope I'll be a better cook & home-baker by and by. It is really my dream to be able to whip up stupendously delicious & healthy farm-fresh meals for my family :) You know the ones who with just one look at the ingredients on hand are able to cook up a storm? That's what!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Drooling over these drool catchers

I'm not supposed to blog about it, really not yet. ..... But it's just too darn adorbs!!! Waaahh!! 😍

I was able to score a Lillebaby All Seasons Complete baby carrier during their last online sale. It's in a new print which I think looks very nice for ladies or mommy wearers and I hope it's something Daddy A would be able to at least tolerate 😜

The carrier is still on its way to the Philippines that's why I was hesitant to order accessories for it. But I was already majorly crushing on Tokidoki accessories ever since I found out I was pregnant with Baby E. 

So......tadaaaahhh!!! :D


The original plan was to have it embroidered with E's name or initials but I keep thinking, what if we have another baby or what if I intend to destash it in the future? Hence the semi-generic design..although Daddy A thinks I'll find it hard to let go of baby stuff, especially ones as cute as these! :)

So to maximize this order, I had one side in a boy print for when Daddy A will use the carrier. I know even big boys love super heroes so I really hope Daddy A will dig the Kawaii Marvel Heroes print. Of course, the reverse side is something that'll make Mommy Meowmeow (that's me!) giddy for days -- Tokidoki icons embroidered on pink minky fabric with a punny caption to boot - "Donut ever let me go!" So apt for babywearing! :)

I've been hooked on Amazon beginning with my first pregnancy. Now I'm falling in love with Etsy, too! :)

Should be filing this under: Choose your own Valentine's gift LOL! :)

Action shots when I get the entire package. Can't wait! 😍



Thursday, February 16, 2017

Do you ever wonder if you're using your time well?

"Am I using my time well?" This is a question that I seem to be always asking myself nowadays. By this I mean whether or not the things I choose to do now are significant enough to merit each breath God gives me. 

Family time at Tagaytay (2015) ~ days as SAHM are not always as cheery as this :)
This is me coming from a worldview that women should by all means study, succeed in the corporate world or in their own business enterprise and basically conquer the world at all stages of their life. I was sailing that ship when I was still single....and then came marriage and kids. Although it is ultimately our family's decision for me to stay at home for the meantime or even "pansamantagal", doubt still creeps in. This is especially true while performing 'mundane' tasks like bathing kids, changing diapers, breastfeeding for hours and so on. I sometimes can't help but think how my KPI's have changed - from hitting sales quotas and achieving distribution coverage to doing a darn good job of trimming kids' nails!

Fun times with former colleagues




Most times, I begin to question whether it is the right decision to give up my career in IT, my opportunity to teach in the University and even an emerging business. When I think about it in terms of money, I get a pang of regret because that's still a significant amount of money we can use to fast track our dreams. In terms of opportunity loss, I wonder too if I'll be given the chance again and even go to the point of questioning what I studied for if I'll just stay at home. Business contacts will change, resource persons will most likely shift gears too and companies, well, they tend to forget people too!

First Day High ~ My University students having fun (I hope! Hahaha) during their first day in class :)


But when I shift my focus on my kids and the time I am afforded to be with them, guide them, even homeschool them and watch them grow - priceless! Yes, there are still doubts. Yes, I'm not the perfect mother nor the perfect teacher. But I feel strongly that this is where I'm planted now, where I also have to bloom & grow. If I be wrong, then I hope that God will redirect me. For now, I'll do my best as a mother tasked to be with the kids. Lots of days are hard (I keep thinking: I'm not trained for this!!) but God's will is always true - I pray that it will always prevail.

I'm sharing below a newsletter I received from Ms. Sarita Holzman of Sonlight. Every word she said tugged at my heart. It is deeply encouraging for the season I am in and comforting despite the doubts I have. To other confused and doubtful mothers, I hope it touches your heart as well. Indeed, God is always with us in this journey :)


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[Text below shared from SONLIGHT Newsletter dated February 10, 2017]


Do you ever wonder if you're using your time well?

Not in an hourly, time management sense, but in a big picture sense? Do you ever wonder if your time at home is worthwhile?
I know young women who have big dreams of changing the world, and then they marry, have children, and find themselves surrounded by domesticity. They freely choose to stay at home and serve first there. But at the same time, they look at the drastic needs of the world and wonder if they're doing what they should.
Perhaps instead of important business meetings and global travel, your main concerns are getting through today's math lesson and laundry while also buying groceries and a birthday gift for the party tomorrow.
Maybe you feel like your all-consuming tasks aren't very important …

But have you ever considered how Jesus spent 90% of his life? We don't know much about his life before he was 30. Yet we assume Jesus spent those years at home, serving his family. As a young man we think he worked as a carpenter in Nazareth, caring for his mother and siblings. He only spent three years in public ministry.

I believe Jesus brought as much glory to his Father in his years at home as he did in his public ministry. Why? Because he was following the Father the entire time. He was home when his Father wanted him home. And then he preached and healed and trained disciples when that's what the Father wanted him to do.
Jesus listened to his Father, walked in step with him, and served where the Father had him. It was that simple and that difficult.

Your life, too, will have different seasons to it. This season at home with your children while homeschooling is just one of them. I encourage you to do it well and to seek God's face the entire time.
It's true that God may ask you to focus on something in addition to your family and homeschooling right now. God may be asking you to homeschool AND start a business, lead a non-profit, volunteer at church, go back to school, or pursue an additional vocation. I started Sonlight with my husband while I was homeschooling. I worked very hard all those years to give my best to all my commitments.
But that's something you need to discern. I want you to hear, Mom, that staying at home with your children is a high and very worthy calling. Whether that's your sole focus now, whether you serve elsewhere as well, or whether you even decide one day to stop staying at home with the kids, you will not regret these years of letting motherhood shape and change you. The patience, logistical skills, big-heartedness, grace and love you develop in these years will serve you and the world for the rest of your life.

And don't forget, you are raising the next generation. You are equipping your children to know who they are in Christ, to know what they can do in the world, and to have the skills to go out to do it. You are equipping your children to do whatever God calls them to. Talk about a critical job!
The reality is that this season of intense motherhood is where God has you right now. I know it is beautiful and awesome, and sometimes frustrating and overwhelming. Yet it is alwaysimportant.
So thank you for serving your children, and in so doing, serving the world. In seasons where you are also serving elsewhere, thank you for that. In seasons when your family life demands all your attention, thank you for your faithfulness to them.

God bless you, Mom. He is always with you in this journey!

Blessings to you and yours,
Sarita

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#CaptureTheRealYou #OPPOF5 100 day wedding 168 18th month 1st birthday 2nd birthday 3rd month 50th birthday 6 months 7th month 8 millennium development goals 8th month a day in the life absolute accessories accessory activity books afritada aggy's Agico alex franco cake algo all of me almost gourmet alphabet altrenergy Alveo amazon kindle anniversary anthem Anthony bourdain apatite appliques araneta aromatherapy art deco asking a godparent AVIDA ayala baby baby back ribs baby food baby gatsby baby gatsby party baby girl baby k'tan baby meal baby ootd baby routine baby shower baby shower games baby wearing BabyComfyNose babywearing babywearing week 2014 back to work bad bird bag bag of beans baked dory baking ballerina ballet ballet kids Bananagrams Banco De Oro band Banking On Your Future baon baptism baptism candles baptism dinner baptism reception baptism seminar barbecue barbeque bargain finds barong batangas bayleaf hotel bazi BDO beach bed sharing beef beef kabsa before five in a 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chicken chicken rice chiffon childbirth chinatown chinese books chinese fables chinese food chinese new year chinese nursery rhymes chinito Chinkee tan chinky christening christmas christmas party christmas spirit chunky chewelry church cisco clara ole cleaning co sleeping Colgate colors conch shell Conti's cookbook cooking cooking time cooking tips cordfree cordless corduroy corporate girl costume couch crib crystal healing crystals CS csb hotel cubao cupcake cwc cyclone dance dawani de-cluttering dear future husband denise laurel design destination wedding diffuser dining dinner distributor divisoria divisoria mall DIY diy candles dlsu Dr. Seuss dry erase dslr dust proof dutch oven Dyson dyson cyclone v10 absolute Dyson v10 dzi beads e-books early bird breakfast club early pregnancy earrings easter eat all you can eating out ecopark educator elena ferrante eleventh month Elin engagement engagement dinner escolta essential oil essential oils essential rewards essentially prudent 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Aspirator nasugbu national museum of natural history neapolitan novels nesting new orleans New Zealand tapa nicholas sparks nikon nikon l820 ninang ninong ninth month niu noir et blanc non-traditional party nosefrida novotel nursing station Nursing Wear nutrition nuvali oakley oily mama oilymama omelette ongpin Online Shopping ootd orb diffuser outback steakhouse outing paht chee parenting parenting emporium paris partner appreiation night party party doll manila party planning party suppliers party tray party video passion cooks philippine homeschool conference philippines phonics photography picture books Pigeon Pigeon Baby Cotton Swab pilillia pinkerton pinoy food planning a first birthday plant based playground po gelai polar polar hrm polarized polka dots pop post partum post pregnancy clothes post pregnancy exercise post-partum postpartum powerplant powerplant mall prayers pre-nup precious medina precious stone preggy diaries pregnancy pregnancy symptoms preparations prepared 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