Thursday, November 29, 2012

Vito went nuts over Go Nuts Donuts

Dear Go Nuts Donuts,

Since my children have now added "brand ambassador" to their resumé, I present to you my toddler Vito for your consideration:
Vito shouted, "Wooooah!" when we opened the box.
"Wha dat, Mama?" as he poked holes into the icing.
Then he was distracted by the cookies I laid out. He said, "Ooooh. Wha dat?!"
I love Go Nuts Donuts' strawberry glazed doughnuts but when I bit into the cookie, I found a new love. 
Vito prefers the cookies, too! They're really good!
Buy a box for your boss or neighbors.
Give a cookie each for your officemates or the neighbors' kids. 
Or just bring home some for your own little Christmas coffee party!

What a fun and yummy gift idea, right? I gave chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting to my (now former) officemates, though. My sister-in-law Lizelle bakes the best cupcakes in the world. Truth! I'll talk about her cupcakes later so you can order from her. But if you need gift treats in a jiffy, pass by Go Nuts Donuts!

*These photos are not sponsored or owned by Go Nuts Donuts. But thanks for the free goodies! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I'm a super mom!

Belle delos Reyes, a super mom herself, just welcomed me into the club!

On her lovely blog Cruisin' Mommyhood, Belle got me to open up about my typical day—a feat considering I usually don't talk about my schedule until after it's done! She also asked me about juggling home and career, a skill I am still mastering. I don't even know if I'll ever master it! And she got me to talk about a lot of other things, like a very big life change I've kept secret for a few months now but that Belle was able to coax out of me!

Dear Belle, thank you for thinking I'm a super mom. I am puffed up with pride! At the same time, I am humbled because I read other moms' blogs and I get insecure because I'm not as good as they are. Like Dainty Mom, for example. She cooks healthy and delicious food for her husband and son all the time. She has a lovely and organized home. She runs a writing and editing business. She has great relationships with her family and friends. Whenever she Tweets or posts photos of the gourmet meals she cooked, like that salmon dish I can't forget, I whine to my husband, "Martine is perfect! I want to be like her!"

Hopefully, with my new life, I'll be able to get my act together. Like, even I will be able to take a step back, look at myself in the mirror and say, "You're a super mom!" Most importantly, I hope that one day my kids will think, "My mama's super. She rocks!"

Wondering what new life I'm talking about? Just go to Cruisin' Mommyhood and read for yourself!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Vito and Iñigo were brand ambassadors of ELC Greenbelt 5!

So proud so proud so proud!

Last month, Early Learning Centre—only the coolest toy shop in the city!—asked my kids to be brand ambassadors of the new Greenbelt 5 store. Wow! Buti pa mga anak ko nakaka-endorse na ng mga brands! Mama must keep up haha.

Anyway, you might remember that I talked about ELC early this year. I was still pregnant with Iñigo then when Vince, Vito and I visited their first shop in Bonifacio High Street. We fell in love with the shop and all the toys so we were thrilled when ELC called us up and asked if our boys can be brand ambassadors of the Greenbelt 5 shop.

Here we are at the baby and toddler section. Everything is so sturdy, well made, colorful and interactive. I seriously couldn't decide what to get for Iñigo!

Aww. Iñigo was just 5 months and 9 days here. He's soooo round! Hmm. Now that I'm looking at this picture, maybe I should get that toy behind us! When Vito was almost a year old, he embarked on a gadget obsession. Remote controls, phones. He'd chew on them and carry them around while walking. Maybe it's a good idea to get Iñigo toy gadgets!

Iñigo stared at these for a looooooong time. But since there are small parts, not yet, kiddo!

Can you tell Mama's excited with everything? Iñigo was just sleepy. Midday is his sleepy time. We dropped by at around 11am.

Meanwhile, someone was wide awake and just as excited as his mama! Vito, as expected, zeroed in on the cars section of the toy shop.

Nice trousers, right? Those are corduroy slim pants we got at Mothercare. The waist is adjustable. So clever and cool! Vince is envious. He's looking for a pair for himself. Mothercare, please make pants like those for mommies and daddies!

Speaking of mommies and daddies, here are the fellow parents (and their happy kids!) who checked out ELC.

Kea Laudico is a Cinderella fan, just like me! Kea's the daughter of celebrity chef Rolando Laudico. She's also an ELC brand ambassador.

Teacher Jeannie of Kindermusik, brand ambassador uses ELC musical toys for her classes. Maybe I should enrol Vito in Kindermusik, now that I know they use ELC toys to learn music and rhythm!

Here's the ELC team. It must be fun to work in a toy store! To the very right is my friend Mariel. She must be giving birth anytime now. Safe and easy delivery to you and your new baby, Mariel!

The store opening was a huge success! There was lots of balloons for kiddies, a cotton candy station, tons of popcorn and a photo booth, too. Plus, celebrity sightings! The gorgeous Rissa Mananquil Trillo was there with her hubby, son and new baby girl.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Mommy Mundo fabulous finds

Halloo, mommies! Who was at the Mommy Mundo Bazaar yesterday? I saw some familiar faces there (Hi, Rissa of absolute mommyhood gorgeousness! Hi, Paola of Mommy Treats! Hi, Mae of Babinski Baby! Hi, Chrissy of Changing Nappies in High Heels!) and met some new ones (Hi, Ian of Tip Tap Soft Soles! Hi, Trisha of Baby Leaf! Hi, Audrey of googoo&gaga! Hi, Aimee of Babinski Baby!). I really wished I had brought my camera!!!

Anyway, our finds, our finds. I actually just wanted to buy lactation brownies from Mommy Treats. As you know, I am exclusively breastfeeding Iñigo and while I have great supply, I still eat Mommy Treats now and then just to help milk production along when I'm stressed or busy. So I was so happy that my dear friend Paola Loot still had yummy chewy brownies for me!
So gooooood!

Vince and I then remembered that our boys had run out of Mustela bath products (Iñigo is exclusively bathed with Mustela and Vito also recently became a Mustela user) but when we passed by the Souq Organics booth, Vince remembered that we still had BioPha bath stuff. So we checked out the other booths instead.

Vince spotted these tie shirts and onesies from far away. Vince loves tie shirts and onesies. So we came over to the booth, which happened to be Silly Monkey Clothing. They had such cute designs!!! We had a hard time choosing. I think we spent too many minutes at their booth haha. We finally ended up with these cuties:
Cars stuck in traffic!
Stars and stripes!

Further along, we chanced upon googoo&gaga's little space. We love googoo&gaga! I just don't know why in all of Vito's 2 years, the designs we want are always out of stock when I remember to shop. Grabe the demand!!! In fact, even last night, we felt sad we again didn't find a Winged Skeleton onesie for Iñigo! But it's okay, we got him a Tattoo Heart instead.
For Vito, Vince really liked this robot shirt. Because of the back—it has a wind-up key! Sometimes Vito seems like a wound up toy, ya know? He just keeps going and going and going and then collapses!

We were also super lucky to see Mae Esguerra Sy of Babinski Baby. Mae was my classmate in Assumption Antipolo and I haven't seen her since grade school. She has not changed at all! She is as beautiful and as bubbly as ever! She was so happy to see me, too, that she gave us the coolest beanie and socks! Thanks, Mae!
It's a mohawk! Iñigo! Grrr chomp chomp mwah!!!
Doc Martens-inspired socks!
Trivia: Vince is a big Babinski Baby fan. He appreciates their designs.

Then I saw Bitbit the Rabbit from Spinkie. I love it so! It's the cutest, most lovable, sweetest stuffed bunny I've ever met. Rone of Mothering Earthlings shop (which also sells Spinkie products) knows this since I've been telling her about my long-distance love for Bitbit for months now. I wasn't buying since I couldn't decide on what color to buy. I had narrowed it down to Watermelon Red, Heather Gray and Navy, but whenever I asked Vito which one he liked, he'd always choose Bubble Pink!

Anyway, at the bazaar, I saw a big basket of Bitbits. I went crazy! It was worse—I now wanted them ALL! The Heather Gray was really calling out to me; it looked so elegant and... British! But then I saw Navy and Watermelon and they were saying my name, too! Vince also found them adorable and he picked out the Mint and the Striped ones. So now we really couldn't decide! Finally, Vince said, "Get the Chocolate and Pink. It's our wedding colors." And so I did. I'm so happy!

Except that when we got home and Vito saw Bitbit, he claimed it as his own. I kept telling Vito, "Bitbit belongs to Mama, okay?" Vince tsk-tsk'd me and said, "Mama, learn how to share!" So I let Bitbit go. 
Vito shared Bitbit with Iñigo. Here he is telling his brother a story about Bitbit. Sweet!

Maybe I'll buy another one. Heather Gray? Watremelon? Navy? Hmm. Maybe I'll collect them all! If you're still shopping for a Christmas gift for me, you know now what I want! I want all the Spinkie Bitbit Rabbits!

So anyway, we went around the entire tent but I didn't need a lot for the boys or for myself so we really just browsed and satisfied our curiosity. There was a ton of goodies moms, dads and kids will love! I was also very inspired to come up with a business. I just don't know what!

If you want to shop, the Mommy Mundo Bazaar is still ongoing today at Rockwell Tent. Opens at 10am, closes at 8pm. The entrance is by the Rockwell Christmas tree. I think the entrance fee is P50. Do drop by! There's also yummy food outside the tent, a breastfeeding station for moms who need to nurse, and the entire place is WiFi'd so you can Tweet away your finds.

If you can't go to the bazaar, just click on the links I provided above and indulge in online shopping! Enjoy!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Family fun at Discovery Country Suites

Hello, mommy world! I have enjoyed my birthday celebrations far too much! But my birthday month is finally winding down and I had a most wonderful time. Thank you all! Now before I kiss November baboosh and say hello to crazy December, here's my little family celebration at charming Discovery Country Suites last week.

I've been longing for a quick out-of-town trip especially since the past few months have been absolutely insane. I can't really talk about it although I've mentioned it here and there. So as soon as my obligations were done, I booked a stay for my family at Discovery Country Suites in Tagaytay. This little bed and breakfast has just seven rooms, all tastefully decorated and oozing with sumptuous comfort. This is definitely not for those who like a more cosmopolitan aesthetic—you know, modern, streamlined, sparse. That's why I chose Country Suites because I wanted a place that looked and felt like home not a hotel.

I had booked the smaller Andalucia room since that's the one I can afford haha. Andalucia is a cozy room furnished in my favorite color (orange!) and looks out to a lush garden. Not bad at all. But we were in for a special surprise when we arrived last Friday—we got an upgrade to the Nantucket! This huge room had a king-size bed, a double bed, a living area, an office, a walk-in closet attached to the bath and a wide balcony overlooking Taal lake and volcano!

Huge floral arrangement greet us in our room.
Two big beds! So sinkably soft!
They even put a playpen for Iñigo! So thoughtful!
Our little sitting area. We have fruit and refreshing welcome drinks. 
Vito's super cute! He's wearing FOX shirt and shorts and TOMS shoes.
The two brothers don't like being separated. Here's Vito missing his baby bro.
Together again!
The bathroom is small. Needs an upgrade methinks, but it served its purpose!

So we loved our room. We explored the hotel and Vito was so comfy, he walked around barefoot. Feeling at home! There's a small garden in the back. It featured a dipping pool and a view of the lake and volcano. Then just before sunset, we sampled the cheese buffet, which was excellent, with white wine. The kids were so excited (in a very loud way) and then they crashed, just dropped off to sleep at 6pm. Which meant good news for Vince, me and the extra bed!

Since it was our special holiday and since we know that the hotel's restaurant Verbena was top notch, we ordered our favorite food: oysters and steak. Oh, dinner was absolutely superb!
We started with warm bread and various tasty dips.
The chef sent us this delightful watermelon salad. The first surprise of the night!
OMG. These Rockefeller oysters are so good! The rich spinach, the creamy and fluffy cheese, the plump oyster!
Our main course was the perfectly done steak. We asked for medium rare. In the Philippines,
that usually meanswell cooked. But our steak was grilled to perfection—the pink juicy meat was so tender! 
Then surprise surprise! A birthday cake with a whispered birthday song (the kids were asleep!) and
an amazing bouquet of gorgeous flowers! I was so surprised! Look at me! I didn't even comb my hair!
My yummy sliver of chocolate heaven!

Oh oh, what a delightful evening! The service at Country Suites is really something. The staff and crew made my family feel so special. Vince and I are big on service—no, we don't expect to be waited on but we appreciate good service and Country Suites went above and beyond just to make us feel at home and loved.

The next morning, Vito was the first one up. He was in a great mood! He, as usual, woke everybody up with his roll call. He, as usual, rose just before dawn so I wrapped ourselves up warmly and we all stepped out onto the balcony to watch the sun rise.

Gorgeous gorgeous! I'd forgotten how crisp the air is at dawn, how it fills your lungs with a briskness so alien now to a city girl. I'd forgotten how clear the light of day can be when there's no smog to dilute it and I'd forgotten how this glorious light can make everything extra beautiful. Like this little guy here.
Iñigo's first time in a high chair. He doesn't quite get it yet haha.
Oh, I forgot I wasn't home! Here I am unbrushed and un-made up. And there's darling Vito.
Vince had waffles and watermelon juice. 
I had fluffly pancakes with eggs, bacon and sausages.

We had to take turns eating because we didn't bring yayas. So while I ate with Iñigo, Vince took care of Vito.
Here they are exploring the second floor of the hotel. Sorry, blurry shot. I had one hand on the baby!
My turn with Vito. He wanted to show me where he and his Papa went. Cutie!

Food coma. Burp!

Oh, we absolutely loved our little getaway at Discovery Country Suites! I want all my birthdays to be spent there from now on! I don't think I can do it again without yayas, though. It's not easy at all. We were forever running after Vito, and next year, that'll be two of them we'll be chasing. So I'm hoping we can make tons of money so we can book another room for the yayas!

But we still had a lovely time. It was good to leave the city, take a break from work and the computer, breathe real air. Breathe. I can finally breathe again! And that's the best birthday gift I got this year—freedom. More on that soon. Just know that I'm so happy!