Sunday, May 31, 2015

My favorite family Instagram pics this month

This post is brought to you by SMART Communications.

Mother's Month (yep, I feel like I was celebrating Mother's Day all month long) is ended and I am just overwhelmed at the past month. Sobrang daming nangyari! Iñigo's birthday celebrations, my first blog workshop, a lot of work for blog clients, a lot of work for Baby Magazine—all that on top of my daily duties as mom and wife. I don't think I breathed at all the past four weeks!!!

While it feels like a blur, I'm glad I have many snapshots of the past wonderful and exhausting month. My husband has dozens of beautiful photos taken by his Olympus and I really ought to share those with you, but what I do have that's quick to access, to share and to savor are the photos on my Instagram. Here are my favorites this month:
A photo posted by Frances (@francesasales) on

A photo posted by Frances (@francesasales) on

A photo posted by Frances (@francesasales) on

A photo posted by Frances (@francesasales) on

A photo posted by Frances (@francesasales) on

A photo posted by Frances (@francesasales) on

A photo posted by Frances (@francesasales) on

Heehee, it's almost all Iñigo in the photos!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Easy Clara Olé recipes turned Iñigo's party special!

This post is brought to you by Clara Olé.

Clara Olé threw a birthday party for Iñigo because they wanted to share with me and with my mommy readers that it's so easy to feed a lot of people with delicious food that won't cost you an arm and a leg. Of course, asking your friends to bring their special dishes is one way to keep the celebration easy on everyone, that's why Clara Olé launched their Potluck Foodfest campaign so that everyone will get to know how convenient yet healthy and delicious home-cooked meals can be!

Here's a look at the launch that I attended this summer:
Clara Olé's Johanna Juban (who hosted the program of Iñigo's party) with event host (and new mom) Gelli Victor.
Gelli and Johanna asked the guests to share their #DiskarTips in the kitchen and the home. This is mine.
Someone who had a lot of #DiskarTips is celebrity host Amy Perez who is mom to three sons. Like me!
Here's Amy preparing a dish out of leftovers made new and delicious with Clara Olé!

A big reason why Clara Olé picked me as one of their series of celebrations is I live in a condominium. Condos these days are notorious for being tiny. That's why people don't like to cook because the kitchen is the same as the bathroom! Joke, joke. But you know what I mean, right? Not only is there no time to cook, there's no space to cook either!

Thankfully, I live in an older condo so my unit is actually quite big. I have a big kitchen! And I'm a good cook, too. But I haven't really cooked amazing meals since becoming pregnant in 2010 because I'm just overwhelmed by... everything. I mean, I still cook gourmet dishes when I find the time (which is sooo rare), so most of the time, it's a lot of adobo, fried chicken, spaghetti, pork chops in our house. And deliveries from Chinese restaurants for vegetable dishes!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Toblerone celebrated Iñigo's birthday

I'm not yet done with this kwento! Iñigo's birthday was made more special by Toblerone and their fun #TobleroneBirthdays gifts!

We were so lucky to have Toblerone give Iñigo three huge cakes—one for each year of his fabulous life, and each cake emblazoned with his favorite Lightning McQueen.

Okay, I know those photos show only two cakes. I somehow forgot to take a photo of the third one!

Haha, look at how Iñigo made pindot na his cakes.

Toblerone also gave us buckets of chocolates. We gave each kiddie guest chocolates and we still had lots left over. Wow!

Blowing out his candle on his Toblerone cake.
Birthday boy enjoying one of his cakes.

Happy birthday indeed. Thanks soooo much, Toblerone, for your #TobleroneBirthdays gifts!

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Topaz Mommy x Bobbi Brown basic makeup application workshop

Two weeks ago, a few of my readers joined me for a fun session learning makeup from Bobbi Brown's absolutely gorgeous makeup artists. It was my Mother's Day gift for me and my readers (and two bloggy friends, Martine and Ginger) and, boy, did we have tons of fun!

The workshop was held at Bobbi Brown's biggest boutique and training facility at Megamall.

It was outfitted like a huge classroom, with makeup stations, large well-lit mirrors plus swing mirrors for close-ups, and high chairs for comfortable makeup application.

Each makeup station was stocked with delicious palettes, bottles, tubes and pots of Bobbi Brown makeup.

All of us mommies arrived with bare faces. As in walang-walang makeup! After all, it was a makeup lesson so we bravely left our homes without a pat of tinted foundation man lang!

I liked it, come to think of it. I liked that for my very first Topaz Learning Workshop, my very first event where I met my readers, I was as honest as possible and my readers were just as honest with me—bare, naked, flaws all out in the open, and yet we were not concerned with those flaws. In fact, walang nakapansin. Feeling namin lahat na ang ganda-ganda namin!

After our workshop, we were even more gorgeous! But I like it that at the very start, we were already comfortable in our own skin.

The workshop started with all of us swatching our jawline for the perfect foundation shade. Here is Sheng Marasigan, very on trend in denim.

After we figured out our foundation shade, we were all ushered in to Bobbi Brown's classroom. Yes, there is a classroom in the store! We did not know that! A secret wall slides open and—tada!—classroom!
The very first Topaz Learning Workshop class! From left: (front row) Sheng Marasigan, Celerhina Aubrey, (middle row) Kaity Bato, Ginger Arboleda, (last row) me, Martine de Luna with her baby Krista, Love del Rosario and Mafeth Molina.

We're just about to start our lesson here. Barefaced beauties, diba? Bobbi Brown's makeup trainer Tamara Pineda led the workshop.
I met Tamara at a photo shoot for BABY Magazine when
she did the makeup of our mom model, Marilen Montenegro.

Tamara clearly understood what mommies need: makeup that won't take up too much time and counter space and is simple to apply. Mommies also are concerned with budgets and Bobbi Brown isn't cheap but Tamara addressed that issue by saying that multi-purpose products cut down on application time and double your money's worth. She gave as example the Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation which isn't just a foundation, but also acts as sunscreen, anti-aging serum, and moisturizer!

After the lessons, we had lunch specially prepared by my favorite bento box maker, Eats Happy! Just look at this special lunch box:
That's a tin of lasagna topped by a yummy "eyeshadow palette" and "lipstick", flat mini sandwiches spelling MOM resting on veggies, cordon bleu bites, and a chocolate cupcake. Sooo delicious! Super favorite ko talaga ang Eats Happy!!! Thanks so much, Eats Happy! More on them in another blog post soon.

After lunch, all the mommies went to their makeup stations and applied what they learned from Tamara. Makeup artists assisted each and everyone. I love how helpful Bobbi Brown's MUAs are!
Martine and Krista

While everyone was getting dolled up, I was busy giving away prizes! Every mom went home with sample sizes of Soothing Cleansing Oil, Extra Bright Advanced Serum, and a tube of lip gloss. Since it was a class and I wanted the moms to jot down notes, all the moms and the Bobbi Brown girls received Leuchhturm1917 journals in my favorite color, orange. I love these journals! A review on Topaz Horizon soon. Thank you so much, National Book Store!

Plus, we raffled off Bobbi Brown's latest book, Everything Eyes, and a pot of Longwear Gel Eyeliner.

Kaity and Sheng were the lucky winners!

And here we all are after our basic makeup application lesson—Pretty Powerful, as Bobbi Brown loves to say!

Simple and fabulous! Every woman, mothers especially, should feel that way! We do so much and give so much to everyone and everything that we forget to care for ourselves. In my experience, when I'm not looking my best, my attitude is affected, my spirit is low, and I feel pity for myself, sadness and envy. Wala tayong panahon para diyan! Gamitin na lang ang time na yan for prettifying!

This workshop was free because Bobbi Brown really does offer makeup lessons for free. All you need to do is stroll in and ask for the resident makeup artist for help. There are several short lessons you can take right there at the store, and most don't need a purchase requirement. So drop by soonest and learn how to be Pretty Powerful!

Thanks again, Bobbi Brown, for making my mommy readers' Mother's Day beautiful! Let's do a workshop again soon!
Like their Facebook page: Bobbi Brown Philippines
Follow them on Instagram: @BobbiBrownPH

Thanks so much, Eats Happy, for feeding us mommies and Bobbi Brown's girls, too, with such a pretty lunch!
Like their Facebook page: Eats Happy
Follow them on Instagram: @EatsHappyFood

Thanks super lots, National Book Store, for gifting us all with Leuchhturm1917 journals, which is my favorite thing to write in now.
Like their Facebook page: National Book Store
Follow them on Instagram: @NBSalert

Lastly, please check out what the mommies felt about the Bobbi Brown workshop (because their blog posts are waaaaaay better than my kwento!):
Ginger Arboleda of Mommy Ginger
Celerhina Aubrey of Reigning Still
Martine de Luna of Make It Blissful
Sheng Marasigan of Writing is My Happy Place

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Photos of Iñigo's birthday at home

That big birthday party was uncharacteristic of my family. I know. I'm very happy we did it but, boy, a big party is a big job! Plus, it was a party to celebrate my mommy friends, too, so Vince and I decided that Iñigo's real birthday should be celebrated on the day itself (the big party was the day after) with how we usually do it—small, just us, but big on fun and style!

Admiring his cake.
Vince decorated the cake with Legos. Labor of love! 
Working on his blow-out-the-candle skills
Kuya Vito not much help hehe
And the first thing he grabs is the Lego Lightning McQueen on top of his cake!
Happiness, part 1.
Happiness, part 2.
Happiness, part 3.
While Iñigo and Vito were opening gifts, Papa, Mama and Piero were taking pictures of ourselves.
It wasn't all Lightning McQueen. May pahabol pa na Iron Man! Happiness, part 4!
Packing away his many new toys! What a happy little boy!

Yep, big on fun and lotsa love! Happy birthday, darling Iñigo! We love you forever and ever!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Clara Olé threw a birthday party for Iñigo!

This post is brought to you by Clara Olé.

Clara Olé is not an auntie or grandma of my three-year-old boy. Clara Olé is a food company specializing in pasta sauces, meat marinades, dips for chips and veggies, salad dressings, rice mixes, and syrups, jams and jellies. I'm a Clara Olé fan because I don't have lots of time to cook. But now I just open a pack of Clara Olé pasta sauce and I have spaghetti for my kids or pesto for me. My husband loves the pork barbecue cooked with the hickory marinade. Clara Olé is my cooking partner!

So when Clara Olé said they'll throw a birthday party for Iñigo plus a Mother's Day food workshop for my mommy friends, I just had to say yes! This party is part of their fun summer campaign, Potluck Foodfest. I'm so happy they picked me to be part of it!

Since it's Iñigo's party, the theme was Disney Pixar Cars, his favorite movie (just like his Kuya Vito when Vito was 2!). The function rooms at our condo were decorated to look like a race track. So fun!

All the drinks, dishes and desserts at this Foodfest birthday/Mother's Day party were made with Clara Olé products. Take the pancake and waffle station, for example. Waffles drizzled with Clara Olé Truly Fruity syrups and topped with candy and Clara Olé Maraschino Cherries!

I'll list all the dishes served in another post and provide you with recipes! For this post, let me tell you about the fun party. We started off with some games. Clara Olé's Johanna Juban was our host and she asked my mommy friends for their #DiskarTIPS.
With Claire.
With Cathee and her son, Ivan.
With Dada, a.k.a. Bouncy House provider!  
Yes, the birthday boy was asleep on my shoulder throughout the program. Ang bigat grabe!

Next, Kaye Sy-Catral of BentoMommas dropped by to show us moms how to create fun baon for our kids. Very useful tips lalo na't pasukan na soon!
That's a checkered apple, chicken nuggets, spaghetti with Clara Olé pasta sauce, and a flat
ham and cheese sandwich shaped like Lightning McQueen.
It wasn't all talks and games. My family and friends had time to catch up with each other while the kids played in the inflatable house (thanks, Dada!!!).
With Maan and her daughter, Eliana.
Bouncing boys.
Even little Piero couldn't resist the bouncy house.

And now for the part where our birthday boy blows out his candle: