Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

Happy Halloween! As promised here are photos of Miya's Cleopatra costume. We used Miya's costume three times so my effort in making her costume paid off hehe.

Migs Halloween Party - 19 October

We had our "party" at P and H's house. Party in quotes since it's really just our usual tambay on Saturday nights. The only thing different was the kids were in costume and we gave out candies to them.
               Miya eating her treats

Flyfish Halloween Get-Together - 26 October

This has become an annual tradition for us since 2011. And it's so much fun to celebrate with these guys because every year we add a new baby (or babies) to our group.

School Night Out - 28 October

This is an event organized by Miya's school. The parents were asked to create booths for the children. And the children had fun going around the different booths to do the activities and get their treats.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

DIY Cleopatra Costume

Halloween is becoming one of my favorite holidays because I get to dress up Miya in costume hehe. If you've been a long-time reader of my blog, you'll know I DIY'd her previous costumes here and here. So for this year, I decided to do a Cleopatra costume mainly because of her hairstyle hehe. It's hard to find pegs for Cleopatra costumes for toddlers but my main inspiration is our goddaughter's costume (store-bought) a few years ago.

It's also hard to find tutorials on how to do a toddler costume for Cleopatra so I relied on this video on youtube which is a tutorial for a Cleopatra costume for adult but you can just basically scale down the size for your child.

For the materials, I bought the following (pretty much everything from Carolina's Megamall except for the gold fabric which I bought from the store beside Fabric Warehouse (also in Megamall):

1. gold fabric - I can't find the same snakeskin fabric she used in the video but the material of the fabric I bought is almost the same with the one she used, I think
2. different colored stones for the accessories - bought from Carolina's (Megamall)
3. gold material for the headpiece - bought from Carolina's (Megamall). They don't have stretchy material that I can used so I also bought the next item on my list
4. garter - but I don't think this really worked so you can skip using this material
5. velcro straps
6. pentel pen - instead of using black paint
7. glue gun - borrowed from a friend. But I found out it's better to use super glue instead (more on that later).

I really just followed the steps from the video (although I didn't use the Modge Podge for the edges of the fabric. It's easy to do the rectangular parts to be used on the arms. The method she used in the video to make a circle didn't really work for me so I had to find circlar objects as my base. But I found it hard to find a circular object as my basis for the neckpiece. And I have to adjust the size to Miya's size as well. And then instead of using black paint, I used black pentel pen.

Basically I went all out with the beadwork hehe. As you can see, using the glue gun in sticking the stones is not going to give you a clean look (unless I'm really just an idiot in using the glue gun hehehe). There were a lot of excess glue and the stones tend to fall off rather easily. I also had a hard time gluing the velcro onto the fabric.

For the headpiece, my friend gave me her son's toy snake that I can use and a canister of gold spray paint. But Miya didn't want a snake on her head so I just used the stones again. I also glued the garter inside the gold accessory. However, I found that this didn't remedy the "stretchy" concern on the headpiece so I just added velcro on either ends of the headpiece. Sorry I forgot to take a close up photo fo the headpiece.

For the white dress underneath, I bought a white fabric to use but again didn't get to use it because I got tired doing all the other accessories haha. I also remembered Miya had a white plain dress so we tried that on her with the finished accessories and it already looked good so I opted not to DIY the white dress anymore.

To complete the look, I also made sandals for Miya. Well, I bought gold sandals from SM Store and then added the colored stones onto it. This time I used the super glue instead of the glue gun. As I've said I found it easier and better to use the super glue because the stones really hold up especially the velcro onto the fabric.

Next post for the complete look.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Of Saving and Bags

I came across this brilliant idea of saving weekly for 52 weeks and topping up the amount every week from Frugal Honey. In her case she didn't immediately start the "challenge" due to lack of right motivation, I on the other hand have a few items on my list that I would like to buy hehe. Like her, I'm going with P10 top-ups and by the end of the 52 weeks I will have P13,780. I'm already on my 8th week so 46 weeks to go!

As for my reward at the end of the 52 weeks, I plan to buy a leather bag. See, my fascination with leather bags started with reading all this blogs about designer bags (coincidentally, you can read a very interesting article also from Frugal Honey on buying designer bags as investments). And then some of my friends are so into buying designer bags. Now, I don't have the means to buy these expensive bags, I can only dream. But then I thought, what I really wanted was to have a good leather bag that will last for years, right. So why not buy a locally crafted leather bag instead of dreaming about imported designer bags (which they say is that expensive because they're handmade or something). And then I tried researching on local leather goods that will not hurt my wallet. Here's a rundown of the locally available leather bags that I've discovered:


I really liked their Celine large tote when I saw it on Leona Panutat's (of L'Indochine) tumblr account.

It's affordable at P3,950 but when I saw the bag in person (they have a few bags in stock in select Black Shop stores), I didn't quite like what I saw.


This brand I first found on Facebook when I searched "leather bags in Manila". But I didn't find any style that I was quite drawn in. So I just kept them on my list.

Tweetie de Leon for Ava

I love the orange and navy combo and then pink and orange combo. They're currently on sale!


 I discovered this brand when Liz Lanuzo (of Project Vanity) posted a photo of Mayfair on her IG feed.

And from there I fell in love with almost all of their pieces.

City 2.0




Bags by Rubber Tree

This is another IG find, this time from Anna. I love how soft their totes look. If you can tell, I'm more inclined to like tote bags.

Can you tell which bags I like the best? I love Katre. So I will probably choose from their different styles. I actually asked hubby to gift me with the tote hahaha. So that I can buy the Piccadilly from my savings but I've seen some photos of the bag and looks like a big bag for me. Might probably get the Mayfair instead and maybe a Camden and a Sloane wallet if I can have it hahaha. But I also really like the color combination of the bags from Tweetie De Leon's collection. So yeah, I can't wait for the 52 weeks to be over so that I can buy these babies.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur: Hotel Capitol

9-12 June 2013

Last June, I went to KL, Malaysia with a few friends for a vacation. This is actually a treat by J for her 50th birthday and retirement. It's semi-free because she paid for our fare while we paid for our hotel accommodations. We were a big group, there's 7 of us, and we wanted to be in a good location - in the middle of all the shopping hehehe. We were initially booked at Swiss-Inn Chinatown but decided last minute to change hotels since we didn't like the neighborhood in Chinatown. So good thing someone suggested Hotel Capitol. It's relatively cheap and in a good location - very near a monorail station and a few minutes walk to Bukit Bintang.

We booked three superior rooms at MYR250++ per room per night (~ PHP3,250++ per room per night).  Here are the photos.

The reception area
The lobby is pretty basic with a few benches you can sit on while waiting for check-in

When you enter the door, the beds are on the right side of the room
The view from our window. Can you see Petronas Towers?
The two beds. There's an extra pillow inside the cabinets but we asked for another one so each of us in the room will have two pillows.
There's a refrigerator under the TV but no food and drinks inside

Almost in front of the door is the cabinet (right side of this photo). There's a small hallway to the left of the door that will lead to this mirror and a door to the bathroom.

Minimal toiletries available so better bring your own
I was weirded out that the coffee and teapot was inside the clothes cabinet.
The hotel offers buffet breakfast but room rates are not inclusive of breakfast. We availed of the buffet breakfast but they have different rates depending whether you have reserved a table or walked in to their restaurant. Rate for reserved seats go for around MYR18++ (~PHP235) per person which is a good price considering that it's buffet and they have quite a spread.
The hotel is also near restaurants. Right next to it is an eatery/hawker station where we ate lunch on our first day - cheap, good food - check! There's also a money changer across the street and a convenience store at the other corner of the street. As I've also mentioned, it's near the shopping area in Bukit Bintang.
So if you're looking for a relatively cheap hotel with clean rooms and bathrooms and good location, Hotel Capitol is definitely the place to stay at.
Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone Number: +603-21437000

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ate Je Leaves Again

It was Ate Je's last day yesterday. She left us, this time around, because she's pregnant. Nothing dramatic has happened, it was actually a smooth transition from her to our new yaya because she agreed to stay with us for another month since the new yaya came. But I guess I wanted to write about her leaving us as an ode to her. I don't know. I was sad when she texted me yesterday that she was about to leave the house (I was still at work). So I told her thank you for taking care of Miya and for her malasakit to our daughter and that she would be a good mother herself. I also told her to just text us when she wants to come back and work. She has been with us since Miya was born. And she left us last year for 3 months but came back again. I was hoping she will stay with us for good but alas Cupid has other plans. She was our partner in raising Miya, although we're the primary caregiver she took on the responsibility as the secondary caregiver to heart. She took care of Miya like she was her own (even though she's not yet a mother then) and I know she loves Miya. She would talk to Miya when she was still a baby and while she was learning to talk and I know that helped Miya a lot in the way she talks now. She's also my partner in breastfeeding Miya. She kept Miya's expressed breasmilk like it was truly liquid gold. She would give the milk to Miya like clockwork when I wasn't around to direct feed her. She's the first person and the only person for a long time who can bottlefeed Miya. She took care of Miya's skin by applying all the lotions and medications for her skin asthma. She would get rattled everytime Miya's temperature will spike more than 37 degrees. She would make Miya drink her daily vitamins, Virlix on days that Miya's itching, cough medicine and oregano whe Miya has cough. She took Miya to school everyday and stayed with her inside the classroom until Miya learned to let her go.

I told her not to let Miya know that she's leaving. Because knowing my daughter, I know for sure that she'll cry and not want to be with her new yaya. So until now Miya doesn't know that Je will not be coming back any time soon. Hopefully, she'll be able to come work for us again in the future.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Family Day

6 October 2013

We had a very tiring weekend because we celebrated Family Day with Miya’s school. First of all, the family day did not happen in the school’s premises but in San Gregorio Farms in Sta. Maria, Bulacan.

We invited both sets of grandparents to come with us but since it was a Sunday Joema’s father was not able to join us. The first notice we received from Miya’s teacher said that the activity will start at 8am so we thought we had to leave around 6am to get there on time. We knew how far Sta. Maria is from the city since Joema and his family used to live there. So instead of bringing in packed lunch, we decided to place our lunch order with the school. They ordered KFC meals for those who chose to do so. It was also a good thing that the school decided to start the event at a later time – 9:30.

So anyways on Sunday my parents came to our condo and by 8am we all trooped to Bulacan. We picked up my mother-in-law along the way. There were some rerouting in the area going to the farm because of some infrastructure rehabilitation so we got lost going to the venue hehe. But since we were early, we were one of the two families who were the early birds (for which we got a prize yay! Haha!). I think the program started a few minutes after 10am. We were teamed up with the other families in Miya’s level, we were the red team. The school gave out white shirts for all of us and gave us different colored bandannas to distinguish the different teams.

Our little red riding hood

The program started with the kids singing the National Anthem. I was surprised when Miya started singing on stage! Remember the last program we went to when she didn’t even want to stay infront? This time around she sang with all her classmates. I was so proud! Then they said a prayer and sang a few songs. Allow me to share the photos and videos here.

On stage right before the performance of the kids
Singing Lupang Hinirang


To be strong and to lean on...
It was really a proud moment for me and Joema and even the grandparents. I was beaming the whole time!

And then came the cheering competition. I didn’t want to participate at first but her teacher told me to join, so yes I eventually joined. We just recited a few lines of the cheer and then danced! Ahahaha! But since Miya wanted to be carried, I technically didn’t dance with the other Mommies but I was there with them swaying along. No, no videos of that! LOL!
With Mommy practicing our cheer
And then there were more games, which both Joema and I did not participate in. But on the last game they had an Amazing Race kind of game, Joema and I played with the team. As in career! We were always the first in the group to arrive in our stations hahaha! Well it was our way in helping our team. I was actually surprised that Joema agreed to join the Amazing Race and I didn’t have to make pilit for him to join. See, my husband is a shy guy but I guess he’s more dyahe not to participate at all because he’s seen most of the parents joining the games.
Can you spot Joema doing the zipline?

After the games we had lunch and had some free time before the awarding ceremonies.

With Lolo and Lola

In the end, our team was 4th place overall but it didn’t matter because all the kids had prizes. Miya was so happy with all the things she got hehe.

Receiving our early bird award. Miya was so excited to get that tin can. But when she opened it, she said "Asan laman?" LOL Told her she can use it as her lunch box

Friday, October 11, 2013

First PTC

30 August 2013

In the afternoon of Miya's Linggo ng Wika program, Joema and I went back to her school to meet with her teacher. Yes, it was our first parent-teacher-conference. We met with the school directress and the head teacher for Nursery. They discussed with us how Miiya is in school. Teacher Rom's first question to us was what were the changes we noticed with Miya since she started school. I started blabbering about how she liked to sing more blah blah blah, I don't really remember now because that time I can't really think of anything haha. Joema came to the rescue when he said that Miya started speaking in English when she started school. Truth be told, we don't really talk to Miya in English. We talk to her in Filipino, that's why when you talk to her she speaks like an adult. Even our expressions like "Hay naku" or "Naku" or "akala ko..." she learned to say hehe. Teacher Rom then discussed her impression of Miya in school and then Teacher Jonah discussed how Miya is during class, she discussed every part of their daily class and how Miya participates in all of them. According to them, the biggest improvement they've seen in Miya was how she has finally came through her separation anxiety with her yaya (Ate Je). During the first month of Miya's schooling, she would cry when she doesn't see her yaya inside the class. But slowly, she learned to let her yaya go. The teachers also noticed how Miya is more comfortable talking to her teachers than to her classmates. Although she interacts with her classmates through play, she doesn't really converses with them like she converses with her teachers. They also noticed that for the first few weeks, she wasn't participating in class but she was observing. It was only later on that she would participate like answering the teachers question or joining in the singing. They noticed that she's very inquisitive. She asks a lot of questions and they are amazed that her questions are related to one another and to the replies that she gets from them. One of the example they sited was this:

Teacher Jonah: Okay, Miya let's stand na.
Miya: Why tayo magsstand, teacher?
Teacher: Kasi we need to sing.
Miya: Why sing? bakit hindi dance?
Teacher: Because we'll dance later.
Miya: What will we sing?

They have so many anecdotes of Miya's behavior in class like how she doesn't want to dance or that she crumples her activity ticket or that she likes to sit beside Ate Janette.

They also remember that Miya likes to answer them with her favorite reply, "Busy ako e." Coz when they ask her to do something and sometimes she doesn't want to, she tells them "Busy ako e." So now really when we're with her, I see them asking her "Busy ka ba, Miya?" LOL

These are only some of the things I remembered during our discussion. Good thing they provided us with a narrative of how Miya is in school. That way, aside from this blogpost I can read that again and remember how Miya is when she first started schooling (in case I forget). The narrative even has some pictures. I'm really happy with Miya's school and teachers. It's a small progressive school. They really know her and she's learning a lot and she enjoys going to school. I remember the first few weeks of school, I was surprised that she's learning so many things  (on Fridays, they are sent home with their homeworks and some of their works in school so I get updated on their lessons every week). Well, considering that my main purpose in sending her to school was to just to use up all her energy and so that the yaya can have some away time from her hehehe.

A Love Letter to the Father of My Children

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