October 17, 2016

Ginataang Bilo-Bilo

Typhoon Karen struck Central Luzon this weekend. I hope you are all safe.

I was thinking of a perfect afternoon snack that is steaming hot but still sweet. All in my mind is Ginataang Bilo-bilo. This is called paradusdos in our hometown.


This is also time for me to try Sugar Blend. A sweetener with same sweetness yet fewer calories. Check my post HERE.

Ginataang Bilo-Bilo


250 grams.glutinous rice powder, turned into dough and formed into about 1/8 inch balls.
5 pieces large banana Saba, cut into cubes
1 piece large kamote, cut into cubes
2 cups cooked sago
1 cup Sugar Blend powder
3 cup coconut milk
5 cups watet

Mix coconut milk, Sugar Blend, and water in a pot and bring to boil.
Drop banana and kamote and simmer until half cooked.
Add glutinous rice balls and simmer until it floats.
When the banana and kamote are done, remove from heat and serve.

This is also good to serve chilled.
You can also add with langka strips.

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October 5, 2016

How to Plan A Family Vacation

Who doesn't love taking vacations? If you ask a working mom like me, a vacation with the family is love. That's why I always look forward to holidays and long weekends. Aside from I get a chance to take a break from my work, it's an opportunity to spend quality time with my family, to bond together and visit the other parts of the country or the world.

Actually, we haven't experience a vacation away from home. But Daddy and I are planning to have at least one vacation a year. It's very important to plan a vacation ahead of time. Here's how to plan a family vacation.

photo source
Define a budget

Defining the budget is very important as this will determine the destination of the vacation. The budget should include transportation costs, accommodation, food, and activities or entertainment. Luckily you can fly to different parts of the Philippines like Boracay on a budget since there are affordable flights available.

Also, don't forget to include pocket money for buying stuff and pasalubongs, haha.

Pick the destination

As I have said, picking up destination will depend on the budget. But it is important to choose a place where your family can relax and make great memories by doing fun activities together.

Plan the date

The most popular time of the year for family vacation is summer during children's school break. But some also plan vacation on birthdays or anniversaries to celebrate or during holidays and long weekends. No matter what, choose the date that everyone in the family is available and comfortable of.

Book the flight

When you already have the budget, destination and date, it's time to book the flight. Booking in advance allows you to get the best fares and of course, save money. Like what I have said there are available affortable flights now. You can check Traveloka before your final booking.

Book the accommodation

Booking accommodation in hotel or resort ahead of time will save us time. You can browse online and compare prices and you can also look for good online deals to save money. Aside from the prices you must also consider it's location, safety and accessibility to city, malls, museums and tourist spots. For hotels and resorts, check if there's a free meal included and if there's a kitchen where you can prepare meals. Always dining in will be very expensive so if you can prepare your own meal, that's a lot better.

Plan your activities

Like what I have already said, family vacation aims to create great and fun memories together. So it's important that you plan your activities to make spend the most of it together. If you plan to visit museums or amusement parks, make sure you purchase tickets ahead of time. Ask your children what activities or places they want to visit because they are the ones who must enjoy the most, right?

Make a list of the things you need to bring

This is I think would be the last step but is as important as the above. Start to list down all the things you need to bring at least 2 months before the trip. The things you need to bring depends on the place and season, and also to the activities you will have. If you will travel in a cold place make sure you include jackets ans sweaters, or boots if it is winter. But if you will go to the beach, don't forget to bring swimwear, sunblock lotion and slippers.

Make sure to bring medicine and vitamins, and food. Before the trip, check all your passports and get visa if needed. Ask also your kids to make their own list and have it check. Remember to just pack just enough things you need and travel lightly.

That's wrap up how to plan a family vacation. Have I forgotten something? Please let me know other tips in planning a family vacation. I would love to hear it from you.

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September 27, 2016

Random Thoughts of A Working Mom

I have been working for 13 years now, and I have been a working mom for 6 years already. 

It's always been a roller coaster ride. There are so many times I have wanted to quit my job but still ends up choosing to stay. I have many valid reasons as a parent like me just want to give the best for our kids.

If you are like me who works full time outside work, you will understand how much time I sacrifice for my job. Though my job gives me financial security, I can't help but think if these are all worth it. I mean, being away from my son and those times I can't be with him to see his milestones and development.

Because time flies and one day, my son will be independent and will, but hope not, need my help. Just thinking about this makes me feel so sad already. Even if how much I tried to make up for the lost time, I could not get it back. That's why I always ends up feeling that mommy guilt when you feel you are failing as a mom. It's always the most painful feeling for every mother.

I thought I'll get over this feeling but now I am here again, caught between quitting and staying. In fact I never fail to browse on online job opportunities like the Triangle Direct Media jobs. I am giving myself a month or two to finally decide. For now, I have to leave it all to God because He knows what's best for us.

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September 25, 2016

Penne Pasta Pie

Mommy loves to cook pasta, especially during the weekends, either for snack or dinner. I had to admit, I am not good in making spaghetti.

Last Sunday, since Mommy had some tasks to do upstairs, I made the spaghetti.

Penne Pasta Pie

I used penne pasta instead of the spaghetti. To give more twist, I made it like a cake by placing every piece of pasta upwards in a spring-form pan and baked it the lasagna way.

Doing this needs a lot of patience and needs to ensure that the “cake” will not sag.

Penne Pasta Pie


500 grams Penne Pasta, cooked according to package direction
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

For the meat sauce:
1 pouch (250 g) UFC Filipino Style Spaghetti Sauce
1 pouch (200 g) UFC Filipino Syle Tomato Sauce
250 grams ground pork or beef
4-5 pieces hotdogs, diced
½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup sliced mushroom
1 medium-sized onion
Salt and pepper to taste

For the cream sauce:
¼ cup butter
2 tbsp cooking oil
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup evaporated milk
½ cup all-purpose cream
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated

Additional grated quick-melt cheese for toppings

Toss the cooked pasta in oil and cheddar cheese. Set aside.

Prepare the spaghetti sauce: 
Saute onion, ground pork or beef until meat turned brown.
Add hotdogs, bell pepper, and mushroom. Simmer for 3-5 minutes.
Add spaghetti and tomato sauce.
Add 1 cup of pasta broth (water where the pasta is cooked). Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare the cream sauce:
Melt butter with cooking oil in a saucepan.
Add flour until formed a paste-like consistency.
Add evaporated milk, cheddar cheese, and all-purpose cream, simmer until thickens. Set aside.

Grease a spring-form pan with oil.
Fill the pan with penne pasta arranged in upward or vertical position.
Spread the cheesy sauce on top followed by spaghetti sauce.
Top with grated quick-melt cheese and bake in a pre-heated oven at 175ÂșC until the cheese melts and turns golden brown.
Remove from oven.
Remove the sidings of the spring-form pan before serving.
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September 21, 2016

Christmas Countdown 2016: 95 Days to Go

I really can't believe how time flies. Did you know that we barely have 95 days before Christmas? Have you started making your Christmas gift list?

As I mentioned on my other blog. I have already started to make my Christmas gift list. And I out of my never ending list, I have decided on one gift and that's for Matthew.

I'll buy him a guitar first then the mini drum set that he's also asking me to buy for him. A simple guitar for now will do but who knows when he grows up, he can strum this taylor electric guitar.

Nice right? Matthew really loves to sing and having a guitar will inspire him to sing more. I am sure Daddy A will also love this idea of buying a guitar because playing a guitar is one of his frustrations dreams. Haha!

Oh, I still have a long list to finish. An with just 95 days to go before Christmas, I think I'll go with the Christmas rush. I hope not :)
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