Thursday, September 19, 2019

Franny Mommy Favorites : Buds Baby Organics

It was been said so many times before that being a mom is no easy feat. Put aside all the sleepless nights, the big and small sacrifices that you have to do, the pain, the anxiety... lately, I realized that no matter how hard you try to shield your babies from all the viruses in the world. That's just not possible.

My twins have been falling sick for the past month. They caught a bad cold three weeks ago and quickly recovered from it then Paul got sick and just as he was about to recover, my twins caught the bug AGAIN. It's one of those moments that I just want to pull my hair and raise my hand to surrender. I love the rainy season but I got to admit that together with it comes the rise of flu and even more scary diseases like Dengue. 

I still remember how awful I felt when I had dengue. I was 7 years old then and I remembered  drinking Slurpee one afternoon with my cousin and the next morning I woke up with really bad headache, high fever and a painful tummy. I initially thought the Slurpee was dirty. I couldn't keep anything in my stomach as I would throw up every so often and my fever just kept going up and up. Eventually, mommy said that she needed to take me to the doctor and since I was so scared of doctors, hospitals and needles, I even tried to jump up and down to prove to her that I was ok but that led to me collapsing with nausea and throwing up in the process which clearly confirmed my mom's suspicion that I wasn't okay. 

I was confined in the hospital for a week with nurses taking my blood twice a day. It was horrible for someone who was deathly scared of blood and needles. I remembered how terrified I was when a group of nurses had to hold me down in order to insert the IV needle in my hand and back then, the needle wasn't the flexible/bendable kind so I had to wear a cardboard splint. Since then, I told myself that I have to be more careful towards mosquito-breeding areas and I really hope my kids will never have to go through that same experience as I did. 

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This is why as soon as we started taking them out of the house, I would make it a point to put mosquito patches on their onesies and on their stroller. I even hoarded boxes of these mosquito patches from Singapore and while it worked so well on behave babies, I can't say the same for active toddlers who can remove their patches from one another (team work talaga!) and would stick them on the wall like stickers. Sadly, the commercially available mosquito sprays are still not suitable for kids 3 years and below so it was just great that I chanced upon Buds Baby Organics at Momzilla early this year. 

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Snack Time : Kumori Puffy-O Japanese Donuts

If you're familiar with the story of King Midas who's a man that turns everything that he touches into gold, then the Japanese, I believe, are the type that turns everything that they create into something that's super cute and pleasing to the eye. I love how the Japanese gives so much attention to detail that even a regular gift-wrapped item turns into a work of art. Then there's their sushi and sashimi creations that just never fails to wow everyone. It's the precision, the balance and how they continues to achieve perfection no matter what.

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That said, my heart skipped a beat when I received a beautiful present from Kumori Philippines about a month ago. It's a box of Puffy-O Donuts and it's available in 3 flavors -- Banana Walnut, Chocolate Caramel and Cheese. I was actually out when this beautiful box arrived so our reliable helper decided to store these in the refrigerator in order to prolong its life. So, as soon as my family and I were ready to give it a try, we quickly warmed this up, prepared our cup of tea or coffee to complement our afternoon snack. 

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

#FrannyCooks : Bangus Lumpia (Milkfish Spring Rolls) with Sarangani Bay Bangus

Just like that, the Ber months have officially begun. Slowly. we're starting to take our Christmas decors out from their usual hiding spot, dusting them to bring back their sparkle and soon enough, I'm sure we can start to hear Christmas carols playing all over town again. It will be my twins' 3rd Christmas and I hope I can make it extra special for them.

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Anyway, new month, new recipe! Recently, I experimented with a new main ingredient. One that I would always have in my freezer but all I do is to ask our helper to fry it. I'm talking about our National Fish -- Bangus (Milkfish). I still remember learning about this little fact back in grade school. True enough, I think bangus is one of those fish that makes your dining table truly Pinoy. In fact, I had a hard time looking for bangus when I was in Singapore and I would ask my mom to bring me boxes of Rellenong Bangus every time she and Papa would visit. We love boneless bangus as I honestly do not have the patience to carefully pluck out every single bone and boy, bangus has one of the most number of bones as compared to the other fishes in the sea. (haha!) My greatest fear is to accidentally swallow a bangus bone as it's very long, fine and well, quite hard to remove.

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Sunday, September 8, 2019

#KabogangKulob with Downy Expert Kontra Kulob

It's raining quite hard as I type this. The twins and I just woke up from our lazy Sunday nap and after playing with their Mega Bloks which ended up with a little fight as L tried to "demolish" her twin brother's beautiful architectural creation. I swear, I love it when I watch J working his creativity with the Mega Bloks, somehow I feel I'll have a future architect and he'll someday build our dream house.

Anyway, I honestly like the sound of the rain gently pitter-pattering on our window pane (that wasn't really intended to sound like a song lyrics) but growing up, my heart would leap with joy whenever I'd wake up to a rainy morning hoping that classes will be suspended that day. I'm pretty sure a lot of you were like that too! As a mom though, days of rain means more challenge in drying our laundry and worst, the fear of it smelling like malodor (kulob).

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I have a very strong sense of smell and sometimes I feel that my nose is directly attached to my stomach. Anything foul smelling automatically makes me feel like throwing up. It's this thing that has been going on since I was young. This is also why I am very particular when it comes to the smell of our clothes, the aroma of our home and the laundry detergent used on my kids' clothes as well. One of the worst smell of all is the smell of damp clothes which wasn't dried properly. Back then, it's the thing that can't be helped as everyone relies on drying their clothes outdoor and dryers weren't as advanced as they are now. Also, the Downy Expert Kontra Kulob wasn't formulated then.

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Thursday, September 5, 2019

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is back in the Philippines!

I really love how more and more brands we love while residing in the Lion City are also making their way to the Philippines! Case in point, fashion and home-wise we got H&M, Muji, Uniqlo, Forever New and even Pottery Barn present in some of the biggest malls in the country and when it comes to the food scene, oh we got a lot! There's Kam's Roast, Ippudo, Llao Llao, Pezzo and just recently.. Popeyes made a comeback!

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Hold a meeting on top of Popeyes? Why not!
The opening of Popeyes clearly stirred a lot of excitement as we've been seeing numerous board ups all over the metro yet there's really no specific announcement made on when it will open. Finally, its first outlet in Arcovia City opened its doors in May and we've been hearing about the long queue and the wait that can go on for an hour. With my kids in tow, I really don't think it would be wise to join in the long queue so Paul and I decided to wait it out a bit more. Finally, sometime in July, we found the perfect opportunity! It was for a late weekday lunch and true enough, there were zero lines! Yay!

We were really planning to do some grocery shopping at Landers in Arcovia City and instead of going for our staple Landers Pasta and Chicken, we excitedly walked towards Popeyes hoping that our lunch won't disappoint. We had a Popeyes store just a few blocks from our condo in the Lion City so we would have random, fried chicken dinners when our schedules got really hectic and we didn't had the time to cook. My favorite has always been their cajun rice, coleslaw as well as their freshly baked biscuits drizzled with honey. Also, the Popeyes in Singapore would regularly send residents in the area lots of discount and promo coupons so I'd always make it a point to keep a copy in my bag just in case I need to grab some take out before heading home.

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It was easy to get a table and the queue at the cashier was quick and short too. I think it was indeed our lucky day. Checking out the menu, I like that they've localized the line-up to adhere to the local taste. For one thing, they got spaghetti also the price is very reasonable that you can easily get a full meal for less than P150. Add a few more and you get yourself a bowl of soup and ice cream for dessert too.

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Friday, August 30, 2019

Hong Kong's Honolulu Cafe at SM Aura in Taguig

I'm back! It's been a really busy month and yet every time I remind myself about our upcoming trip to the Lion City, I get this sudden surge of adrenaline rush and excitement.

Finally, after two long years, Paul and I went back to our second home and what made this trip extra special was having our twins with us too. I knew that we will be back (for a visit at least) and I was really determined to take my twins with me in order for them to meet their aunties, uncles and playmates who were like family to us when we were still based there. No yayas with us so it was just me, Paul and our twins. I knew also that it will be extra tiring and physically draining but I was up for that challenge. This is probably one of the rare times in their young lives that J & L got our undivided attention for one full week. In fact, a week is indeed to short to meet up with everyone and to go to all the places on my list. Also, I realized that it's the first time that I'm visiting Singapore as a Mom and I now have a different perspective on what places are considered family-friendly, what restaurants are safe for kids and most of all, I do realized that Singapore has a lot of awesome diaper changing rooms which I am truly thankful for. Manila is slowly picking up pace and I got faith that someday we can turn our little metro into a family-friendly place too.

Now that we're back from our trip and our luggages have finally been unpacked, cleaned and kept again in our storage room, somehow I can't stop thinking about all the fun that the 4 of us had last week and little by little, I feel like my wanderlust spirit is coming out of its shell again. I thought that when I become a mom, I no longer can travel the world but that's not true. At such a young age, no matter how tiring it can be, I believe that Paul and I made the right decision to take our twins with us as we're building memories as a family and we somehow got to know L and J even better during this trip. So, here I am, dreaming of when we will go on a family trip again.

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Perhaps, Hong Kong might be a good next destination. After all, it's one of our favorite places too. They'll be much bigger by then and we can probably visit more places, eat at those tiny restaurants without having to ask for baby chairs and give in to our shopaholic tendencies (guess who among us has this haha). While I continue to day dream, let me tell you about the time that Paul and I took our twins to try Honolulu Cafe at SM Aura. Yaya was on holiday then so it was once again just the four of us. L doesn't like eating rice so we have to look for a place where there's bread. That's when I spotted those buttery golden Bolo Buns with a thick slice of butter sitting in one of Honolulu Cafe's bakery shelves.

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I've heard about Honolulu Cafe from the time it opened in Singapore. I've been wanting to give it a try but knowing that the queue can take forever, I've been putting this visit off until I ended up flying back home to Manila for good. Guess, fate has its way of getting those much talked about egg tarts and Bolo Buns to me as Honolulu Cafe opened in Manila early this year. I'm a fan of the traditional Bo Lo Buns (Php. 50 / 60). I love the crusty top encasing a pillowy soft bread inside. Bo Lo stands for pineapple and I guess the cracks on the crust replicates that of a pineapple shell. You can have it with or without butter but if you ask me, I love it with some butter which melts especially when the bread is freshly baked.

Another must try is the Bo Lo BBQ Pork Bun  (Php. 60) which is my dad's personal favorite. It's like asado siopao only you swap out the white buns with the same bread used for the Bo Lo Bun. The bread has a nice sweetness to it which goes well with the savory taste of the BBQ pork filling. My little L enjoyed this so much that she managed to finish one entire bread all by herself. Say hello to my little bread lover.

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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Fun, Food and Facts at Serenitea Trivia Night

Remember a few weeks ago, I shared with you the super cute tie-up between my favorite milk tea brand, Serenitea and the very iconic Sesame Street? Well, as their promotion for those adorable metal straws has come to an end, the fun continues this time for all trivia lovers out there! If you're the type who just loves to test your knowledge on a wide range of topics from pop culture, sports, politics and more or if you're just super competitive like me, well this is one event that you shouldn't miss!


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The Serenitea Trivia Night will run every Thursday night at a particular Serenitea outlet in the metro. They started last August 22 at Serenitea UP Town Center and today, (yes TODAY), you can join in the fun at Serenitea Robinsons Cyberscape Gamma in Ortigas. I'll share the rest of the schedule below. So basically, all you have to do is to register and sign up at the host branch at least 2 weeks before the event. They can only accept a limited number of participants so be sure to grab a slot before it runs out.

So, are you excited to join in the fun? Here's how!

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