Monday, March 14, 2016

My last blog post on Topaz Mommy

Hi, dear mommies that I love so much!

Today is a sad day. I'm saying good-bye to Topaz Mommy today. I've been talking about the difficulties of mommy blogging for a while now, coupled with the stress of maintaining two blogs. My Loyal Readers have been assuring me for more than a year that they will appreciate following just one blog.

I couldn't decide which blog I was going to kill, even though my readers told me I should keep Topaz Horizon. I love Topaz Mommy. But I realized that I'm not really talking about my kids anymore anyway. I knew it was mommy blogging that had to go.

First, I'm not as brave as I used to be and I don't want to be judged harshly as a mother. Things like giving my first baby formula, using disposable diapers, vaccinating my boys, letting them play with gadgets, giving them fast food to eat—these things make other moms call me a bad mom. I'm not a bad mom. For myself, I honestly don't care what other people think of me. But for my boys, I don't want people to think (or worse, tell them) they have a bad mommy.

Second, I've always planned on giving my kids complete privacy when they turn 6 years old. Why 6? Well, I thought that while they're still babies, their faces are still changing, they're still stuck to me nearly 24/7, and they have no concept of social media. But now that my first boy is turning 6, he'll be spending half the day in a school far from me and my protection. He'll meet strangers without me. I want his face to be anonymous now, which is possible since it's still not in its permanent form.

And he's aware of social media now. He tells me if he wants his picture posted, for example. Most of the time, he doesn't so to those who tease me that I have favorites based on the number of photos of my sons that I share on Instagram, nope, I don't have favorites. I love my eldest son as much as I love the second and third. But most of the time, that little boy doesn't want his photos shared so I don't.

Third, I can still talk about parenting on Topaz Horizon anyway. After all, my second and third sons are still babies. I can still share them with you, my dearest Loyal Readers! My few parenting stories will continue there so you can still follow my adventures as a mommy there. No real good-byes!

Well, saying good-bye to this blog is very real to me.

I'll keep this blog up as an archive of the six most wonderful years I've known so far. Best years ever! Crazy years, for sure. What an emotional roller coaster it's been! Yet another reason I've had a hard time with mommy blogging. When I started this blog, I promised that I will always be brutally honest. But things change. I realized I can't share everything with you—how I felt about my pregnancies, how motherhood is changing my marriage, how I feel about how other parents parent, how I feel about breastfeeding after three kids. It's not just those big things, even the silly milestones we're proud of, I have become shy to share. Like how my kids were toilet-trained (very quickly, if you must know!). I feel that that's too private, even though parents ask me all the time how we did it so stress-free. So if I'm having trouble sharing the everyday joys and trials of motherhood, then it's time to let mommy blogging go.

But not all of it! For more of my adventures as a writer, editor and wife who also happens to be a mommy, do follow Topaz Horizon. In fact, to entice you, I'm doing a fantabulous giveaway right there right now!

So no good-byes. Just a change of scenery. But thank you, all of you, for the warm welcome to motherhood, the guidance and encouragement through the dark days, the friendship and the love, the prayers and blessings, the gifts and all the virtual hugs and pats on the back. Grabe! You are such a HUGE part of my life as a mommy. Huge. I don't know how I would've navigated motherhood without you, your support, your wisdom, and your friendship. Especially since I don't have a mom, you were all mothers to me. Thank you!

Yes, thank you. Thank you so much for loving my family, especially my darling little boys! I can't thank you enough. God bless you!

See you at!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Our romantic dinner at The Peacock Garden at Bohol

Ahhhh, romance! Since Valentine's Day is just a couple of sleeps away (that's how my kids count the days, by counting their "sleeps"), I'm brought back to the last romantic dinner Vince and I had. And it happened eight months ago!

I knoooooow. With three little kids who want us to eat dinner with them, brush their teeth, tell them bedtime stories, and tuck them in bed, anything romantic doesn't happen after 6pm! So thank you so much to The Peacock Garden at Bohol for preparing such a lovely dinner for us.
i heart u

The Peacock Garden has a special package called the Love Package (but of course) which include the following:
  • Accommodation for two (2) nights
  • Complimentary upgrade to the Premier Room
  • Daily a la carte breakfast at Old Heidelberg for two (2)
  • Romantic four-course dinner at Old Heidelberg
  • 90-minutes body massage
  • Whole-day countryside tour with lunch at Loboc River
  • Return airport/seaport transfers

Vince and I had that romantic dinner and it was amazing. AMAZING! And you already know how we feel about the food served oh so lovingly at The Old Heidelberg. (Click here for that story)

Since we had the kids with us, The Peacock Garden very kindly offered their nannies to watch over the kids. Yes, there are childminders! You just have to set an appointment with them a few hours beforehand. Then they arrive at your room in crisp uniforms, clean, fresh, and armed with books and toys!

With the kids in good hands, Vince and I sat down to this magnificent feast!

Fresh Garden Greens with Grilled Tandoori Chicken Breast,
Pineapples and Peppers in Yoghurt Dill Dressing
Homemade Salmon Pasta Salad with Fresh Garden Greens
and Grilled Prawns in Sesame Dressing

Chicken Bouillon with Duck Ravioli
Beef Consommé with Pancake Strips and Herbs

Main course
Grilled US Beef Tenderloin Steak with Black Peppercorn Sauce,
Sautéed Green Beans, Grilled Tomato and Gratin Potatoes
Poached Norwegian Salmon Fillet with Saffron Cream Sauce with
Pechay, Asparagus and Sundried Tomato Pappardelle
Homemade ube ice cream
Creme Brûlée

Oh my, Old Heidelberg, you have outdone yourself! We enjoyed the food and each other so much, we lingered too long and so our kids came looking for us!

We will be back, we will be back, The Peacock Garden! Thank you for spoiling us silly with your amazing food, incredible service, and gorgeous resort!

To know more about The Peacock Garden and to book a stay at this exquisite place, click here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

3 mindful tips from Glad® ClingWrap on how to save food

This post is brought to you by Glad® ClingWrap.

I'm happy to say that Glad®, a line of food protection products, sent me and some of my mommy friends their products. We all love Glad®! When Glad® asked us if we wanted to try their products, we all said, "Matagal na naming ginagamit ang Glad®!" But of course we wanted more!

Many Pinoy moms really are Glad® fans. And I'm personally glad (heehee) about that. I read a recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization [] which said that USD 2.6 trillion worth of all food produced in the world gets wasted. Trillion. I can't even imagine trillion. I can believe it, though. In my own home, I regret to say there have been many times we've thrown away food because it wasn't stored well so it lost its freshness, or the texture became weird, or the taste went bad. Sobrang sayang talaga.

Keeping food safe from spoilage... and little hands! Glad ClingWrap FTW! 😄

So I started using storage containers from Glad®, like freezer bags for meat in the freezer, sandwich bags for leftover cereal, chocolate bars, and, well, sandwiches. But the easiest way to store food properly is to just use ClingWrap. Simply wrapping the fresh fruit or vegetable, or even the plate with leftover food in it seals in moisture, helps keep bacteria out, and prevents smells from other food in the fridge to affect each other. Properly packaged food in ClingWrap keeps fresh food in peak condition!

Here are three tips from Glad® ClingWrap on how to save food: