One Day with God

My friend Eli shared this video on her Facebook timeline that really struck a chord within me. It is about a Christian organization's prison ministry called 'One Day with God'.

The “One Day with God” Camps began with a vision of one day inside prison walls where parent and child could reconcile with one another and spend time together with God-anointed mentors working beside them. The day includes games, crafts, lunch, music, clowns, an illusionist, face painting, and a parent and child quiet time.  It is a divinely appointed time for both child and inmate where both can experience the love of God and find forgiveness and reconciliation.  If one child could have a Christ-centered Mom or Dad return home from prison, there would be a joyous change in that home forever, and it could change the path that child takes in life.
As much as these people did something that made them deserve to be behind bars, we also know that every person deserves a chance to change. Watch this video and maybe you will also be moved to forgive.


Merry Serendipity Christmas

Here's wishing all of you a memorable Christmas season.  I would like to share a few songs from one of my favorite movies of all time. I know it's not exactly a Christmas movie but watching Serendipity always invoke a Christmas feeling within me. Best movie soundtrack thus far.
So here you go. Merry Christmas, everyone!


What You Need This Holiday Season

The Christmas season brings a roller coaster of emotions. One day you feel excited about all the upcoming reunions, the next day you are stressing about not finishing your Christmas shopping amidst the horrendous traffic in the city. God spoke to me today through my devotion and I hope it touches your heart the way it did mine.
Exodus 33:15 says "My presence will go with you and I will give you rest"
Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go"
It is not the first time I am reading these verses. But today they spoke to me in a way they have never done before. The Lord is with me with me. And He is with you too.
When you are stuck in traffic, the Lord is with you.  When you are feeling discouraged and unappreciated, the Lord is with you. When you are stressing about preparing that next get together, the Lord is with you. You see, He promises to go with us wherever we go. Furthermore, know that our rest will come from Him.
The Christmas season certainly brings a lot of mixed emotions. In all our busyness, we often forget to stop and enjoy the season until it's already December 26.  Feelings of loneliness may sometimes even creep in as you scroll through the countless Christmas posts on social media only to realize how anti-climactic your Christmas day has been. 
For this year, I pray that you experience the overflowing love of Christ. Something that will never leave you feeling lonely or empty this season.
Ephesians 3:18-19  "And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God"
May your hearts be full this season with the kind of love that is 'too great to understand fully'. May you feel His presence and warm embrace wherever you go.
Have a wonderful Christmas and may we never forget the reason for this season.


100% Thumbsuck-free

Remember last May when I was telling you about how we got our 4-year old daughter, Dawn, to finally be 99% thumbuck-free (read here)?  And how our progress deteriorated two months later (read here)? Well, I am happy to report that we are now 100% thumbsuck-free!
I know a number of you also struggle with the same habits. I mean, not you personally (I hope) but your children. So let me share with you how we were able to overcome the elusive 1%.
I'd say our journey to be 100% thumbsuck-free involved a lot of prayers and some parenting trial and errors. The past months were pretty much a roller coaster ride for Dawn as far as her sleeping habits are concerned. There were nights when we'd be thumbsuck-free and then suddenly the next night we're back to the old habit. Through those nights, Dawn and I never stopped praying. Every night she'd pray that she will not thumbsuck anymore and I know she has tried her best to avoid it. While I know that God can miraculously help her stop to thumbsuck in a blink of an eye, I also know that sometimes God uses people and other means to help us achieve our goal. The key is to constantly trust in Him during the waiting period.
A month or so ago, a friend of mine shared how her daughter stopped to thumsuck after using Manicare's Bite No More solution. This treatment was actually formulated to stop nail biting but it worked for their daughter's thumbsucking habit. After only two weeks of continued use, their daughter was able to kick the bad habit. So my friend gave me the solution to try on Dawn.
We decided to give it a try during our recent trip to Baguio. I woke up extra early the morning of our trip and applied the treatment on Dawn's fingernails while she was sleeping.  I also placed some on my fingernail and tasted it hours later just so I know the effect on her. It tasted so bitter and left an awful taste in my mouth! I was a little concerned on how she would react but thought it was worth a shot anyway.
Dawn slept through most of the ride to Baguio in her car seat. When we woke up her during one of our stop overs, she told me she needed to go to the ladies room because she wanted to vomit. She never really vomited so I thought it was probably just her cough giving her the gag reflex.
That night, Dawn woke me in the middle of the night in tears. She said she feels sad because her cough is making her 'not enjoy' to thumbsuck (her words). She said 'Remember when I said I wanted to vomit in the car? It was because my mouth and throat felt ouchy after I thumbsuck' .  I believe she was referring to the lingering bitter taste but could not describe it. Anyhow, long story short, she said she will never thumbsuck again. And that was how we were able to overcome the final 1% and be 100% thumbsuck-free.

It's been over a week now and she has not even attempted to thumbsuck. The bitter memory (pun intended) of the day she wanted to vomit was just too awful to be repeated. I have not told her about the 'magic potion' and will probably not do so until a very long time. I may eventually tell her or she may find out once she starts reading this blog. Either way, I am sure she will be thankful that her thumbsucking ordeal is finally over.

To those of you with kids who are still struggling with this  habit, do check out Manicare's Bite No More. I don't think it's available in the Philippines yet but you should be able to purchase it from the pharmacies in Singapore like Guardian or online for about SGD11.50 per bottle.

Try it!  Don't forget to cover this strategy with much prayers and let me know how it goes.



Best Christmas Advert

This Christmas advertisement produced by Edeka, Germany's largest supermarket chain, really tugs the heartstrings. It's a wonderful reminder to spend time with our parents this holiday season.

It's time to come home.


Circle Maker Series: Experiencing the Breakthrough

I want to close our Circle Maker Series by sharing a story about breaking the sound barrier as shared in the Circle Maker book.
photo source
In the world of aviation, the sound barrier was once considered the unbreakable barrier. Many engineers believed that Mach 1 (the speed of sound) represented an impenetrable wall of air, and dozens of pilots who died trying to break the barrier solidified that belief. At low speeds, the shock waves are a non-factor, but as an aircraft reaches higher speeds, new aerodynamics is introduced.  When a plane approaches the speed of sound (or Mach 1), shock waves increase and cause the pilots to lose control. The buildup of air pressure in front of the aircraft causes a wave drag.  And because the air on top of the wing is traveling faster than air on the bottom, it basically results in a catastrophic nosedive.  The British, among others, put a hold on their attempt to break the sound barrier when their prototype self-destructed at Mach .94
But that did not keep a young American pilot named Chuck Yeager from attempting the impossible. On October 14, 1947, a four-engine B29 took off from the California desert.  As his plane hit Mach .965, the speed indicator went haywire. At Mach .995, the g-force blurred his vision and turned his stomach. Then, just as it seemed as if the plane would disintegrate, there was a loud sonic boom followed by an almost instantaneous and eerie silence. As the plane crossed the sound  barrier, 761 miles per hour, the air pressure shifted from the front of the plane to the back.  The shock waves that had buffeted the cockpit turned into a sea of glass.  Yeager reached Mach 1.07 before cutting his engines and coming back down to earth. The unbreakable barrier had been broken.

Just as there is the sound barrier, there is also the faith barrier. That is the point where we have seemingly reached a wall in our spiritual journey. The point when we start to feel that our prayers are not going anywhere. Breaking the faith barrier often times feels like breaking the sound barrier.  Difficult to almost impossible. 

If we want to experience supernatural breakthroughs, we need to pray through. It may often feel like we are about to lose control and things are falling apart, but that is when we need to press further and pray harder. If you allow disappointments and doubts to stop you from praying through, then we experience a nosedive in our spiritual journey and our dreams end there.
If you want to experience a Supernatural breakthrough, you need to pray through
Do not give up. If there is one thing that we need to remember from the Circle Maker series is that giving up on prayer should never be an option. You never know when you're just a prayer away from the promise. 
Just like the story of Chuck Yeager, we need to wait for that ‘Sonic Boom’ experience in our spirits.  It may be the moment when the Lord answers your prayer or the moment when we have peace knowing that our prayers are in the Lord’s hands and will be answered in His perfect time. That is the moment when your frustrations turn into quiet confidence.  That is when we know we have experienced a breakthrough.
As we enter the holiday season, remember that the best gift that you can give yourself is the gift of hope. Prayer develops our faith, and with faith comes a renewed sense of hope. Never give up on the Lord, because He will never give up on you.
Romans 12:12 "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer"


My Melissa Holiday

It's almost December! Have you done your Christmas shopping yet?

Exactly a year ago, I shared about my long-time fascination with Melissa shoes (Read about it here ).  Twelve months later, nothing has changed. I am still a big fan of Melissa and am excited each time they come out with new designs for both moms and little girls.  Check out the adorable new designs this season plus some classics that we love.

Mini Ultragirl Sweet in Gold

Mini Ultragirl Disney Twins

Mini Ultragirl Sweet

Mini Ultragirl VI Giraffe

Queen IV

Campana Barroca
Last November 10, Dawn and I were invited to get a sneak peak of the new designs that will be launched this Christmas season.

Darth Vader on your Daughter's shoes? Why not!

More from the Star Wars collection
And what I am currently waiting for...the new sandals from the Campana Barroca collection. So beautiful!

This year, Melissa has an even better news for moms whose little girls are growing up. They now have a line for tweens called Mel. These are for those girls who are already too big for Mini Melissa but are still too small for the regular Melissa line. Awesome, right? Here are some jelly shoes for your fashionable tweens.
I love how Melissa shoes are always fun yet classy.  It stays in shape and does not go out of style.  I still regularly wear my first Vivienne Westwood pair from 2006 and nobody can guess that it's almost 10 years old. 
Now it's time to sashay to the nearest Melissa store and get your own pair. I promise you will not regret it. Check out Melissa's Website for more designs and click here for the list of stores that carry Melissa shoes. 



Mothers Who Brunch: Holiday Potluck

Christmas is just around the corner. Our family's schedule is slowing being filled with parties and get together with relatives and friends. To avoid putting the burden of food preparation solely on one person, the more popular thing to do among my circle of friends is to have potluck.  That is usually a great idea...if you know how to cook!  For non-kitchen savvy people like me, I usually default to my list of food to order. It's not as exciting as bringing your own dish but sometimes it will have to do. So for Christmas this year, I am determined to learn.
A few weeks ago, I attended my first Christmas party for 2015. The invite says "potluck" but I did not need to bring anything.  Instead, we were to learn how to prepare a couple of easy potluck dishes in time for the holiday season.  Oh, the joy.  Aside from the fact that Michelle (of MommaInManila) is one of the most gracious hosts I know, I was also excited to jumpstart this year's personal kitchen challenge. And so that was how I found myself driving along SkyWay towards the south of Manila one early Saturday morning.

The event started with a beautiful ham and cheese spread, the highlight of which was the truffle honey. It was just amazing. I wanted to pour the truffle honey over everything on my plate. I am not exaggerating. I really wanted to. I will schedule that visit to Santi's very soon to get my own jar.
While waiting for the program to start, the servers went around serving champagne and this fantastic Jalapeno Beef Fingers by NawwTy's Kitchen . I do not fancy spicy food but this one was too good to miss. The hint of spice was just enough for me. The pesto spread made it even more spectacular. Just talking about it now made me crave for it again. I will need to order this soon. 
Our awesome server. I forgot to get his name but it's worth mentioning that he was very cheerful all throughout the event. He happily asked us if we needed our drinks refilled and came back again and again to serve more food. I love people who love their jobs! Kudos to NawwTy's Kitchen for your very professional staff.
We spent a lot of time eating, drinking and being merry. The Viking Showroom in Alabang is such a beautiful place.  It is built to look like a two-story house with a living room, kitchen and small dining area. It felt like a holiday party at a friend's house.
Then Michelle and Sabrina (of Sinfully Sabrina) began their cooking demonstration in the beautiful Viking Kitchen.

 And true to a all blogger events, there were a lot of photo coverage.
This is a sneak peak of Tin (of ManilaFashionObserver) doing her thing. The magic that happens behind the lenses. 
Then Mish talked about the beauty of the Viking Kitchen. Apparently, Viking, a US brand, is already known to a lot of commercial establishments for years. It first introduced their kitchen range for personal use in 1987, making housewives and foodies feel like professional chefs in their own homes.

Check out this double-door refrigeration system. Freezer on the left and refrigerator on the right. I particularly like how the freezer shelves do not go too deep so that all your food items are visible when you open the door. Nothing gets hidden at the back. Check out more of their product line in
Many oohs and aahs later from our Viking Kitchen tour, brunch was served.  The food was nothing short of amazing.  We had Apple and Sausage stuffed Turkey, Crab Fat Paella, Prawn Salad and so much more. Our brunch was courtesy of NawwTy's Kitchen.  They can do full-service catering or food delivery for your events. Last year they had to make 16 turkeys in one day to fulfill the orders for Thanksgiving. So make sure you order early so that they can still accomodate you.  

This is the part where I will let the photos do the talking.
Now the eye-candy does not end there. Let's move on to the dessert spread prepared by The Flour Girl .  The dessert table doubled as the living room centerpiece. They were that pretty! They were almost too beautiful to eat!  
Now here are more photos courtesy of our event photographer that day, Jay Santos ,who also did portrait shots of each guest. That was a such a classy and wonderful alternative to the usual photo booths.  Made us feel like models for a day.
Here is Michelle of MommaInManila, Trish of NawwTy's Kitchen, Dara of  Collab Contessa, and Sabrina of Sinfully Sabrina
They raffled off some prizes at the end of the event and I won this beautiful handcrafted bracelet made by Rica of Rich Earth Jewelry. Check out her Instagram account @richearthjewelry
Nobody left empty-handed. I had to ask the manong to help me carry all the things we got to bring home to my car.
Thank you once again, Mish and Sabrina, for inviting me. It was one of the best holiday parties I have ever attended.  Surely felt like Christmas in November.

The Viking Showroom is located at Unit 205,
Westgate Commercial Center, Filinvest City,
Muntinlupa, Metro Manila.
For information, call 828-1363.


Sultan Mediterranean Grill

One of the joys of working at the center of Makati is the luxury of trying a whole range of restaurants that are walking distance from the office.  The joy multiplies when you discover good authentic food at reasonable prices.
Last Thursday, my colleagues and I were invited to try Sultan Mediterranean Grill in Salcedo Village.  The restaurant is located at the back of the Valero Plaza where the building's main entrance was along Valero St.  We went in and did a little maze along the corridors until we found Sultan. Even though the restaurant was a little hard to find, the place was very very full when we got there. It's essentially a hole in a wall, a jem of a place in Makati.

Now for the food. We started with the a Salad and Falafel before diving into the main event. I will let the pictures do the talking.
Tropical Dream Salad, P250
House Lettuce mix, mango, cherry tomatoes, apple, pineapple, walnuts.
Served with calamansi soydressing and grilled salmon
Falafel, P250 (photo by ManilaMommy)
Deep fried patty made of chickpeas, with lots of spices.
Served with pita on a bed of hummus bi tahini and veggies
This is how you I eat a Falafel. Spread the hummus on the pita and wrap the Falafel. Yum!
I honestly cannot remember what this rice is called. A bowl costs around P80 - P100
Kebab Platter, P580
Choice of any 4 sticks of kebab or koobideh, served with grilled tomato.

Braised Lamb Shanks, P550
Juicy lamb shanks stewed and braised with spices. Served with buttered rice.
Moussaka, P220
A uniquely Greek traditional dish of layered minced beef, eggplant and cheeses, baked like Italian Lasagna
They will soon be launching this! Ribs with cranberry and orange sauce.
Sultan Grill is definitely a must-try if you love Mediterranean food. The servings are pretty big so it's good for sharing.  My personal favorites are the Tropical Dream salad, Falafel and the Moussaka.  But my colleagues swear by the Braised Lamb Shanks and Chicken Tandoori (P240) which I failed to take a photo of.  That said, every dish that we have tried was a winner. They also serve pasta and burgers if you are not into the strong taste of Mediterranean food.
With Ms Remy Baxa, the restaurant manager at Sultan Grill, and Neva of ManilaMommy
The happy eaters

Sultan Mediterranean Grill is open everyday from 11am to 10pm  and is located at the Ground Floor of the Valero Plaza, San Agustin Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City.  You may either enter through the main entrance of the Valero Plaza building along Valero Street or through the restaurant's entrance along San Agustin Street.

For dining inquiries and reservations, please call +632 894 5909 or +63917 8919123 and look for Ms Remy Baxa. You may also send an email to

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The Sleeping Habits of Dads and Moms

Are you a light or deep sleeper?
Before I had children, I am generally a deep sleeper. Once I fall asleep, I sleep through the night. Make whatever noise you want and it won't bother me. You can turn on the lights or even the radio and I won't budge. Motherhood happened and changed all that. I surprise myself by the little things that can possibly wake me up. A faint creaking sound of the crib that tells me the baby is awake, a tiny cough or the pitter patter of tiny feet walking to the bed.  I was pretty amazed at this realization. It's almost like a miracle how most women develop bionic ears once the babies are born. Maybe this is really how God designed the female human body.
But let's not forget the men. Before we had children, my husband was such a light sleeper. He needed the lights completely turned off before bedtime. Night lights keep him awake so lampshades must be turned off and the room must be pitch black. I cannot watch television because even the tiniest volume would stir him up. I always complied because I knew it was hard to change sleeping habits. Or so I thought. One tiny miracle changed all that. His name is Troy.
When our little baby was born, my husband suddenly became the deepest sleeper ever. EVER. Troy screams and cries non-stop and he does not seem to hear it. I turn on the light to check on the baby but he does not seem to mind anymore.  What happened to the light sleeper that I married? And I am not just trashing my husband and venting here.  For some reason, he said he seriously does not hear it. Strange. To give him credit though, those times when I practically shove him out of the bed had to wake him up, he readily helps me. I will redeem my husband by saying he's a very hands-on father and I cannot complain. I remember how my cousin-in-law (Father) was telling me how his kids slept through the night since birth. Then my cousin (Mother) reacted 'What?! No, they did not!'. So apparently the Father just did not hear the cries.
Maybe that's just how men and women are wired through parenthood. What about you? How did your sleeping habits change with kids?


Zenutrients: Gugo Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner

I have always been on the quest for hair products that address my two hair problems: Perennial hair loss and dry hair. I have often found good products that promises one or the other but never both.  Now here's where it gets a little bit more challenging.  On top of these two requirements, I also need the product to only contain organic ingredients. 
I think the search is finally over. I'd like to introduce you to my current hair addiction - Zenutrients' Gugo Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner. I have used it for six months already and I am officially a fan.
I recently finished my 250ml bottle and just bought a 1000ml bottle to refill. Getting the larger bottle is a lot more economical but I might also get a 500ml soon as that comes with a handy pump.

The shampoo is quite watery but it lathers pretty well. Don't skip the conditioner because that's the secret to softer hair.
Zenutrients has recently sent me the Gugo Strengthening Hair Serum.  This is the latest addition to their growing Gugo line. This is a more potent serum that can be left on the hair overnight so it works while you sleep. The instructions say that you may also use it as a leave-on but I've yet to see how that works on my hair.
The serum contains Gugo extract, Jeju Aloe Vera, Green Tea extract, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus essential oils. I particularly enjoy massaging the serum on my scalp before going to bed as the Tea Treet and Eucalyptus oils make my head feels cool and minty.  Very refreshing after a long and busy day.
I've only started using it for a few days so I've yet to see the effects of the serum. But if it's anything like the shampoo and conditioner, then I've high hopes that it will do its magic on my hair.

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Mobile number: 0932-8064417, 0925-8800687 and 0917-3252636


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