From Our Gingerbread House to Yours

 Merry Christmas from our tiny Gingerbread house to yours!


Christmas Comfort Food

I woke up feeling happy today. I got to the office earlier than usual and decided to get my daily dose of Chai Tea Latte from the nearby coffee shop.  As I was walking down the street,  i began to notice the warm sun and the soft cool breeze that filled the air. It's my kind of weather.  In that quick 15-minute trip, i felt the holiday spirit kick in. As i held on to the comfort of that warm tea latte, it started to feel a lot like Christmas!

Together with my long love affair with the Chai Tea latte, i have found a new love to pair it with. Pili Biscotti!

My brother-in-law gave them to me over a month ago. It looked like toasted bread with pili so i was initially not as excited as i probably should be. I tasted it and knew that i have found my newest comfort food. I always pair it with a cup of Chai or coffee. I am not a coffee drinker but the newly discovered coffee-biscotti partnership is too good to pass.

The Biscotti itself is a already a little bit sweet. The added taste of the slightly bitter coffee blends well into the toast.  

Being the health nut that i am, i was pleased to discover that Pili Nuts have a whole range of benefits. Pili nuts contain:
  • All 8 essential amino acids which have been found to support healthy blood sugar levels, development of muscle tissue, hormone production, energy regulation,  healthy bones and skin, brain balance, liver detoxification, and neve cell health.
  • Bio-available minerals, including the highest magnesium content of any nut.  Magnesium helps support healthy nerves, muscles and bones.
  • More Vitamin E than any other nut which supports healthy skin, immune function, and protection against various diseases due to its antioxidant qualities. Vitamin E also protects against cholesterol turning into plaque, thus helping prevent cardiovascular and thrombotic disease.
My newfound Biscotti love is from Sherry J. I love that it's packaged in a resealable bag...but then again, i almost always finish the entire bag at one sitting anyway :) 
Try it yourself and see what i'm talking about. You may order by calling 0917 5699616, 0922 8595176, 2549928 or go to their Facebook page by looking for Sherry J pastries & desserts.


Adversity Quotient: How Resilient is Your Child?

When i was young, the only quotient that i was familiar with was Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Then i got to college and found out that there is also such a thing as Emotional Quotient (EQ). A few months ago, i learned from finance expert, Ms. Rose Fausto, that we also need to be conscious of having a strong Financial Quotient (FQ). So many quotients to consider!  Well, there's a new quotient that i learned three weeks ago during our #BetterMe session with Coach Pia that i'd like to share with you. Adversity Quotient (AQ).

The net describes AQ as the most scientifically robust and widely used method in the world for measuring and strengthening human resilience.  During the recent tyhpoon that hit the Visayas region in the Philippines, one of the most frequently-used term to describe the Filipinos was "resilient". I look at the survivors and can truly say that most of them exhibit a very strong AQ. They are undefeated.  
photo from
How do we ensure that our children will have a strong AQ? Each time i look at my husband, i can feel that he is very emotionally and mentally strong. He can easily rank #1 in my list of friends and family with high AQ.

We touched on this topic during our last session with Coach Pia and i found it to be such an eye opener for me. Building our children's AQ means that we should not be overprotective of our children.  People who were NOT sheltered too much growing up will tend to have higher AQ.

One of the things that i've learned is not to over react when my child gets hurt. Sayang things like 'kawawa ka naman' lowers the child's resilience. He will grow up thinking everytime he gets hurt, he'll be 'kawawa'.  They will then start to develop self-pity and low self-esteem. The better response would be to check on the child and make sure he's okay. After the cut is attended to, then tell the child it will be fine and don't make a big deal out of it.

I am learning each day. There are days when i'm so tempted to say 'aww...' and over react when my child shows me his or her ouchy.  But then the principles of having High Adversity Quotient comes to mind and i stop myself from fawning over the child too much. Not to say i don't show concern but there is a better way of doing so without letting the child feel self-pity.

How about you? How high is your AQ? Having a strong self worth is also key to building your child's self esteem. Remember that our children looks at us and how resilient we are in times of difficulties. I am determined to be the best example for my children. I will show them that when times are hard, we should just shake it off and step up instead of wallowing in self-pity. As they say, when life throws you lemons, make lemonade.

Our talk that day was sponsored by Hewlet-Packard.  They talked about their new HP Deskjet Ink Advantage Printer series which i love! My favorite feature was how you can download an App on your smartphones or tablets and print remotely! I love all the arts and crafts project available in the App and even the reviewers that are excellent for our pre-schoolers who are learning to read and write. The good news is that HP Deskjet Ink Advantage Printers used to cost P4,990 but they recently brought down their prices to P3,545 only! It's an excellent gift for the whole family. You still have 9 days before Christmas to rush to the stores and buy them for your family!


Smart Plugs

During the holiday season, fire safety is often a concern.  With all the Christmas lights and additional electrical usage, more caution is definitely required to keep our homes safe.

A few months ago, one of my friends told me about Smart Plugs. It honestly took me a while to appreciate the concept since it looks just like a regular electrical outlet to me.  At first glance, i noticed that it uses USB sockets instead of the usual ones that we have been used to.  So i's true that a lot of gadgets come with USB cords these days, but my cynical mind questioned its value.  Why not just plug my USB cords into the power adaptors that come with it? It will charge my gadgets just the same anyway.  So I decided to do my own research. My findings scared me enough to ask my friend to install the Smart Plugs in our home. 

A year after i bought my first iPhone in 2008, the power adapter stopped working. The USB cord was fine but i had to purchase a new adapter otherwise I'll be left charging my iPhone through my Laptop all the time.  I initially thought of going the cheaper route of buying a generic power adapter. But my office mate told me how his generic charger eventually damaged the battery of his iPhone making its life shorter. So i decided to buy the original, though more expensive, adapter from Mac.  After my recent research, i felt relieved that i bought the original charger. Apparently, there have been cases of generic power adapters exploding and nearly burning the house down.
photo from
After further research, i later on learned that even original power adapters from reputable companies are not free from danger. These original power adapters have also been known to overheat to dangerous levels. In fact, Apple has recalled millions of iPhone 3G adapters in 2008 for similar reasons. 

All of these findings lead me to believe that the danger is really in the power adapter. So what's my solution then? Smart Plugs! Yes, i finally appreciated its function.  We had it installed and are now happily  charging without power adapters at home.  Installation is not too complicated. Ours took less than an hour to complete.  I still keep the power adapters for traveling, but I can rest easier knowing that  our family is safe from the risk of shock hazards that power adapters bring. 

Smart Plugs come in four styles (see picture below).  We had the FU-A25C installed near our bedside table.  It comes with an electrical socket that we use to plug our table lamp and two USB chargers to plug in my iPhone and Blackberry. Just perfect for a two-gadget gal like me.
I encourage you to try it out. It's also good to install the purely USB plugs in your child's bedroom or play area so that there is no danger of them touching an open electrical outlet. 

Order your Smart Plugs today! Check out the contact details below.

RCC Solutions Inc.
      +63 2 717-0877 / +63 2 577-6689
📠       +63 2 621-7465
📱       +63 917 598-6275 / +63 922 813-4671


DIY Gingerbread Man

Christmas is fast approaching. Last week i was searching for Christmas gift ideas and came across some Gingerbread kits from Sugar and Spice Houses. I ordered the Gingerbread Man and Gingerbread House kits and decided to road test them with our family.

For this post, I'd like to share with you our experience with the Gingerbread Man. The House is a work-in-progress as it's a bit harder to do. I'll share that experience in a separate post.

The Gingerbread Man arrived in a gold box with red ribbons and a card. Ready to be given as a gift!
The Box contained 1 gingerbread man and 3 packs of colored icing (Red, Green and White). It also includes a pack of chocolate candies to be used as added designs.
So we got to work and helped the kids decorate the gingerbread. We gave them options on what color to use and how they'd want to design the gingerbread man. We basically just helped them make sure the icing won't spill out of the bag.
After about 20 minutes, we were done with our Gingerbread man! Looks like the kids decided to give him eggs for shoes.  The kids were laughing so hard at how their gingerbread man turned out. It's not the most perfect gingerbread man but i think he's adorable.
It was a fun family activity and we enjoyed eating the cookie after wards. The kids felt like giants eating the head, arms, and legs of the gingerbread man.

I ordered this from Sheila Deterala of Sugar and Spice Houses. You may email her at if you wish to order.

Merry Christmas!


How to Prepare for Your Photo Shoot

I love taking pictures of my family!  The thing is, since i am the designated photographer, i noticed that we seldom get good family pictures. Most of the good shots are of the kids, or Dens and the kids, but seldom one that includes me.  So when The Picture Company offered the SoMoms a photo session with our respective families, i did not hesitate. 

As soon as i booked our session with them, i was contacted by our would-be photographer, Crystal Whang, from their Rockwell branch. She asked me questions about our family - from our hobbies to our personalities. It was a fun preparation for the shoot. Crystal also sent me some pictures and color schemes to choose from so that we can prepare well and ensure that our outfits do not clash with each other.

I did my own preparation and laid out our outfits on the bed the night before. This is to see how well they will turn out in the photos.
I also made sure that our photo shoot is scheduled at a time when the kids are neither sleepy nor hungry. This will help them be more cooperative during the shoot. 

We got there 15 minutes before our scheduled time. This helps get the kids more acquainted with the place and the photographer.
We bumped into Conci ( and her entire closet!!! (talbog ako sa outfit preparations mo, Conci!)
Mac desktops where you can view your pictures immediately after your shoot
The shoot was fun. My son was very cooperative but my daughter was not smiling naturally during our family portraits! Crystal would make her laugh then she'd revert to her awkward smile once again.  Sometimes we'd have good pictures of her laughing but Troy would be looking somewhere else.  It's a bit of a challenge taking pictures of multiple kids.  Amidst all that, we were not stressed at all.  It was a conscious decision to just have fun and roll with it!  We were all laughing at various silly poses that the kids wanted to do. I love that Crystal was also laughing and having fun with us. There was a time when Crystal couldn't take the shot anymore because she kept on laughing at Troy who wanted to pose like an old man!

After selecting your pictures, you can order Christmas cards like the one below. It's a great way to capture multiple photos on one page. You can send these to friends and relatives abroad who do not see your children so often.
The Christmas package also comes with a gift card that you can use as gift tags! See ours below.
The good news is that you can also have you family pictures taken for FREE! Just print or take a screen shot of the coupon below and schedule an appointment with any Picture Company branch (contact details below). This promo is valid until December 15, 2013 only.
Power Plant Mall - 898 2657, Greenbelt 5 - 756 0020,  Bonifacio High Street - 856 1232, 
The Podium - 634 2632, Alabang Town Center - 809 7370, SM Mall of Asia - 556 0165, 
SM North 351 6184, Ayala Center Cebu (032) 268 2241


Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Our kids are more intuitive than we give them credit for. With all the things they see on the news regarding the recent events concerning Typhoon Yolanda, how we address their questions is very important as well. For my kids, i want them to learn empathy while also making sure that they do not develop a fear of storms. I don't think we can shield them from knowing what is happening in the world but we can take part in teaching them how to react to these situations. 

Last December 1, Make Believe Productions partnered with Fully Booked to create an event especially designed to teach children how to take part in relief efforts and also express love and compassion to other people.  

If you missed the first event, you may still sign up for the upcoming December 8 event at the Children's Section of Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street. There will be an interactive story telling by the Make Believe storytellers, a short discussion and sharing of the calamity, and other educational art activities for the kids.

You will need to send an email to Nini Torres ( if you would like to join the December 8 activity. Please refer to the poster below for the event details.


  © Theme Designed by Fancy Girl Designs 2011 for Breakfast with Tiffany

Back to TOP