November 16, 2017

How to Turn your Backyard into a Play Paradise


Television and digital entertainment are beginning to dominate our children’s lives. And with Southeast Asia being the world’s fastest growing gaming market, the trend is only set to continue. But it’s the great outdoors rather than indoors that offers the most development opportunities for your kids. Freedom and space for movement helps develop gross motor skills, different styles of play encourage diverse social interactions, and being in nature challenges the brain and enhances mental wellbeing.

So, how do you entice your child away from the screen and move them outside? The answer lies in your own backyard! Simply create a child-friendly outdoor space that offers a play paradise where they can explore, be inspired and let off steam. Here are a few ideas to get you started with your child-friendly garden.


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Add play equipment

The obvious place to start is to invest in play equipment, such as a slide or sand pit. But play equipment doesn’t need to be an expensive and bulky addition to your backyard. You may already have a tree that can be used for adventurous climbing. Or if your tree doesn’t lend itself to climbing, hang a tyre swing from a sturdy branch to guarantee good old-fashioned fun.

Add water

In our hot sticky climate, playing with water can be wonderfully refreshing. If you have an outdoor water tap, simply connect a hose and let the fun ensue. Or why not install a large water fountain to ensure you have an ever-present source of water play. This will also attract bathing birds - an absorbing spectacle - and provide an elegant, decorative centerpiece that you will be able to enjoy as much as your children.

Create a hideaway

Kids like nothing better than their own secret den. You can invest in a playhouse or tree house, but it might be possible to create a simple hideaway by hanging a hammock in a shady spot, placing a small garden seat beneath overhanging branches, or laying a secret path that leads to a cozy nook. Alternatively, have a portable tent to hand which can also be used for easy backyard camping expeditions.

Attract nature

Let your children discover the wonders of the natural world by attracting wildlife to your garden. If you have trees and palms, they will already be home to an array of birds and insects just waiting to be investigated. And to encourage more fauna, plant native flowering species, such as begonias and orchids, that will attract pollinating butterflies and insects. Equip your child with binoculars, a magnifying glass and identification books and they will become nature detectives!

Create a vegetable and fruit garden

Planting a vegetable and fruit garden together will open your child’s eyes to the miracle of growth and will encourage them to take ownership and tend to their plants. They will learn valuable lessons in science and be able to taste the literal fruits of their labor by harvesting and eating their produce. For a first easy step, try growing dragon fruit in pots.

Simply add a few of these elements to your backyard and watch your child reap the vast rewards of outdoor play, whether it be through physical movement, nature exploration or imaginary play. A host of opportunities await them on their doorstep.
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November 13, 2017

Garlic Bread Recipe


Garlic bread is one side dish that goes well with everything like with this creamy lasagna.


Now, let me share this easy garlic bread recipe that you can try at home.

Ingredients:

wheat bread
garlic butter spread

Yup, just that two. I already shared an easy garlic butter spread recipe that you can prepare first.

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.

2. Cut the wheat bread into 3 like this.


3. Spread over garlic butter spread over the bread on both sides. Arrange the bread on a pan like this.


4. Baked the bread for 5-10 minutes until the bread is golden brown.


That easy right. You have delicious garlic paired with your favorite pasta dish.



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November 8, 2017

Easy Homemade Garlic Butter Spread


Our little boy loves bread and sandwiches. So as much I could I make variety of sandwich spreads for his school snacks. Para iwas sawa.

I have been meaning to make garlic butter spread because I find commercial one pricey. So I searched for easy to find ingredients to make garlic butter spread.


Here's an easy homemade garlic butter spread.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup softened Butter
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Dried Parsley

Instructions:

Mix all the ingredients together until well blended. 

Now, you have this garlic butter spread to make a garlic bread.


That easy!
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October 9, 2017

Sauteed Alamang (Shrimp Paste) Recipe


Whenever we go to our hometown, I see to it we buy lots of fresh vegetables. We also buys bagoong alamang or shrimp paste that I will saute.

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Bagoong alamang is made from fermented krill (alamang) with salt. 

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Bagoong alamang is one of the famous Philippine condiments that is sauteed with garlic, onion, tomatoes and pork fats. 

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Sauteed alamang (shrimp paste) is best paired with mangoes!

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While most of the times, sauteed alamang is considered as condiments, there are other Filipino dishes where it can be used as ingredients like Kare-kare and Pork binagoongan.

Sauteeing alamang is just easy. I prefer raw alamang that is not too salty and has no bright colorings. If in case I bought one that is too salty, I will wash it with water first to remove the excess salt. 

Here's a simple Sauteed Alamang (Shrimp Paste) Recipe that you can follow.

Ingredients:
1 cup of alamang or shrimp paste
2 medium tomato, diced
2 slices pork meat (optional), chopped to little pieces
1 small onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons brown sugar
3 teaspoons vinegar

Instructions:
1. Heat a pan. Add the pork and sear until brown and the oil comes out.
2. Add onion, garlic and tomato then saute for 5 minutes in low heat.
3. Add the raw shrimp paste, sugar and vinegar. Let the vinegar cooked first before covering.
4. Cover and cook in low hear for 10-15 minutes, with occasional stirring.
5. Let it cool and transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

That easy! Oh, I am craving for mangoes now!!!

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October 6, 2017

Chemist Dad on Weight-Loss


It is more than a year since I started my weight-loss regime. After a year of struggles and sacrifices, I hit the scale from 190 pounds to 165 pounds. It was a great achievement on my fitness goal.

I can already wear some of my shirts and even pants that have been kept in the closet for a long time.

During the first month, I have been struggling and trying different but healthy ways. I tried the modified military diet which limits the amount of daily calorie intake but it seems to fail because I started craving for more food. So I stopped my journey on hitting my goal. Instead of losing weight, I gain more pounds.

Many saw the results of my weight-loss journey. They kept on asking "What did you do?", "How long for you to hit that weight?", "Did you go to the gym regularly?" 

To answer these questions, here are some ways that I think helped in putting me close to my target.

Less rice.
Limiting, not eliminating, rice intake made a great impact on achieving my goals. From the usual 2 cups of rice, or even more kapag gusto ko ang ulam, gradually decreases to 1 ½ to a maximum of 1 cup especially on dinner. 

Now, I am consuming one cup of rice for breakfast, three-fourths for lunch, and a half for dinner.

I did not remove rice in my meal because according to some nutritionist, you need to sustain it or else it will make you gain more weight when you go back to the normal diet.

Balanced meal.
Balance meal for me does not mean that every meal should be complete with meat and vegetables. I just make sure that whenever I take meat on one meal, I have veggies on the next one, or vice-versa.

For example, if I have chicken afritada for lunch, I make sure that our dinner is veggies like pinakbet or chopsuey.

Fruits.
Sometimes, I used to replace my usual snack with fresh fruits. An apple or a banana is a good alternative for bread.

Less soda or fruit juices.
We know that soda and ready-made fruit juices are high in sugar. If not burned, it will turn into fats. 

Again, i did not omit these items in my meals, I just lessen it. Whenever I crave for these, I drink a glass or lesser just to satiate my taste buds. 

Green tea and lots of water.
Normally, I drink a cup of coffee with my breakfast. I replaced it with green tea since I am having a cup of coffee during our break time. I think this one made an impact in reducing my belly area.

Taking 8-10 glasses of water is not only essential in our system but water has zero calories so it is safe to drink more than the recommended amount especially on hotter days.

Exercise.
After a month of modifying my food intake, about 10 pounds were shed on my weight. This motivates me to continue what I am doing.

This time, I included daily routine exercise like abdominal crunches and weight lifting to tone my arms and tuck my tummy. But adding these activities might slow down weight loss because of gaining muscles.

Speaking of exercise, one thing you need to consider is what you are going to wear on such activity. I suggest that you should pick the one that you will be comfortable to move and do your moves. 

One place that you can check Fabletics. This brand offers a lot of choices on comfortable, affordable and fashionable athletic outfits.

Losing weight really needs a lot of discipline and even you hit your goal, you need to continue what you are doing to maintain at your goal.

After hitting my goal I stopped some of the activities above like rice intake and exercise. Few day ago, I tried to check my weight and to my surprise I marked the scale at 182 pounds. That is just eight pounds from my previous weight.

I really need to get back on the track I had before.

What is the status of your weight-loss goal?
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