November 26, 2012

Rosemary Baked Chicken with Vegetables

Last Thursday was Thanksgiving and even though it is not customary here to celebrate Thanksgiving, I thought of cooking something that would make us feel like it's Thanksgiving here. Also it is a testimony of the many things I am thankful for, especially as it was a challenging year for us. I am thankful that somehow we have survived quite a difficult year and we are looking forward to much, much better years ahead of us. It is really true that no matter what the circumstances, we always have something to be thankful for.

This is Rosemary Baked Chicken with Vegetables. The recipe was from McCormick's Rosemary Baked Chicken with Potatoes which I tweaked a bit. Also I opted for vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers and carrots. I also made Buttered Marble Potatoes to go with this (not seen much on this picture).

I am thinking about doing this yearly and next time I will be inviting family and friends because one of the most important things to be thankful for is the love from family and friends.

November 3, 2012

Practicing to be More Self-Confident

When I was in high school and college, I was kind of insecure because of my being overweight. I have this school of thought that designer clothes, branded shoes and accessories would make me more attractive and popular. But as I mature and met really good friends who would look past my physical attributes, I have learned that self-confidence is what makes people attractive. Most people would want to be surrounded by other people who do not doubt themselves or has a defeated attitude. Also now that I have a family of my own, I realized that self-confidence is needed to commit to earning a living and providing for the family. Since this is a prerequisite to success, how can you practice to have this trait?

Draw positive feedback.  Focus on the positive things you do, the daily successes you achieve and be proud of them. Build on the things that you have accomplished such as finishing a major task, having a job, or just finishing up your to-do list.

Step up your game.  Having trained your mind to building up on your everyday achievements does not mean that you have to stop from there.  It will not hurt to always try to go up to the next level. Shoot for a higher reward. If you are an employee, try to get promoted. If you are a student, try to excel and get an award. It is such a heady feeling to be able to conquer the obstacles that have come your way. This encourages you to go on and do not give up.

Gain confidence from obstacles. You have to look at life as a challenge because these challenges make life worth living. Make the crises in your life stepping stones not in terms of making more money or being more attractive, but also in conquering your own fears. Pretty soon, this process of setting a goal, overcoming challenges and never quitting until you have achieved that goal will be established in your mind and will help you boost your self-confidence.


October 30, 2012

Starting Your Own Food Cart

The food cart business has become very popular because of its low capital requirements and its variety in specializing all sorts of fast food cuisine.  Whether it is dim sum, noodles or local refreshments, you can only be limited by your imagination. Although food carts are less mobile than food trucks, they present as a very good low-cost opportunity to enter the fast food market. If you know of great finger foods or mobile foods, one effective way of marketing it is through a food cart. If you are planning to embark on a food cart business, these helpful tips may help you to start your own food cart.

Scout for a good space.  Appraise space requirements by knowing building zone and business regulations that may dictate what will be the design of your food cart. Depending on where you will operate, for example inside a mall, near schools, or in the supermarket, your food cart should not only be attractive but also meet the specified requirements set by the building's owner. Avoid wasting money by paying particular attention to the space and design requirements.

Form and function. You can choose different kinds of materials to build your food cart from. However, you must take into consideration the restrictions set by the building's owner, the products you will be selling and the preparation involved in the day-to-day operation of your food cart. For example, if you will be having a dim sum food cart, this will involve a lot of reheating and food cart constructed from stainless steel will do the job.

Construction and assembly. After you have gathered the necessary requirements and restrictions and finalized the design, it is time to construct your food cart. It is important to make sure that it is sturdy and all parts fit together. You do not want accidents to happen and you definitely do not want your food cart to fall apart, so put it together in such a way that it is built to last.

October 24, 2012

Repertory Philippines' The Wizard of Oz

Last Monday during Joaqui's school field trip, we had a chance to watch Repertory Philippines' stage adaptation of The Wizard of Oz at Onstage Theater in Greenbelt. It was not our little boy's first time to watch a stage play and he was excited to watch and see the actors in their costumes.

The Wizard of Oz is Repertory Philippines Children's Theater's 20th Anniversary offering and true to its mission to captivate the young audiences, we were transported to the wonderful land of Oz. The set with its visual effects and the actors in their colorful and intricate costumes evoked a storybook atmosphere.  The lyrics and melody of the songs were simple, light and bouncy. Many children nowadays are not quite familiar with the story of The Wizard of Oz and Repertory Philippines' adaptation of the story was straightforward and adhered to the original spirit of the book. The actors were brilliant, especially those who played Dorothy and The Wicked Witch of the West. Surprisingly, the wicked witch was Joaqui's favorite. I also liked the fact that it included a game of charades where the audience have to guess the lead characters of the musical being acted out by the Winged Monkeys.

We were not able to take pictures inside the theater as cameras are not allowed. Overall it was a pleasant theater experience for adults and kids alike. Now I am looking forward to Repertory Philippines' next musical which is Disney's Camp Rock The Musical set on November 16 to December 16.

October 19, 2012

a sink full of dirty dishes

Since I have become a work-at-home mom and have been living on our own, I do all of the household chores except for the laundry and ironing. So when I met up with some of my mommy friends, Jacq and I had a chat about doing household chores and I mentioned about washing the dishes even at 1 a.m. She was bewildered and it is simply because I can't stand a sink full of dirty dishes, pots and pans. So no matter how tired I am at night, I will not go to sleep without washing those and keeping the sink and kitchen spick and span. Hubby helps me during the weekends and when my mom stays with us, she does the dish washing. But what they don't know is that after they have done washing, I still clean the sink. It's one of the things I'm OC about. I'm sure all of us have one or few things as our pet peeves, and mine is the sink and the kitchen.  It is not that I am not happy with their job, it is just that I am not at ease when somebody else washes our dishes.

Another thing I'm OC about is the bathroom. Cleaning the bathroom is therapeutic for me. When I have a lot going in my mind, I clean the bathroom. Sometimes when I am sad or depressed, I clean the whole house! I am no domestic goddess, but I like to put negative energy into good use. And now I realized that it is no use for us to get house help because I have already established a personal system of doing household chores on my own. Besides, it is an advantage to live in a small space. Our condo unit is easy to maintain because I surely don't have a large space to take care of. The challenge is keeping everything neat and organized because of the limited space we have.

I wish that being a work-at-home mom means spending a little time in front of the computer, watching TV or movie, cooking leisurely and sleeping early, but I can't pretend and it's not even close to that. Working from home meeting deadlines, taking care of a very energetic 5-year-old boy and keeping my husband happy are some things that I have managed quite well through the years. I am not complaining and in fact I am thankful that I am able to do all of these without having to go out of the house to work. It's just that I can't stand a dirty sink--it's one thing I will definitely always be OC about.

October 18, 2012

Jollibee Kids Club Cosplay Funday

Halloween costume play was early for us since we joined the Jollibee Kids Club Cosplay Funday last October 14 at the SM North Sky Dome.  My sister-in-law was one of the organizers and so we had free tickets. While choosing Joaqui's costume, he initially wanted a T-Rex costume where we found one at SM Department Store. Unfortunately the only available size was small and even though we went through other dinosaur costumes, the size was just too small for Joaqui. When I saw a pirate costume and asked Joaqui if he would like to wear it for the cosplay, he immediately agreed. The pirate costume came with a hat and the pants had a boots-like end so that when the shoes are covered, it really looks like the child is wearing boots.

To complete his pirate get-up, I purchased a pirate sword and eye patch. I really liked the costume we bought because it was not that expensive and it was quite comfortable to wear. Joaqui really enjoyed being a pirate, wanting to be like Captain Hook looking for his treasure.

The Jollibee Kids Club Cosplay Funday event was a big hit. My sister-in-law did not expect that the number of participants would be that many.  It was also my first time to really participate in a Jollibee event where we would watch the program. From the previous years, we would come late and not join the games, etc. And I thought I was a stage mom until I saw the other moms who would really push their kids to join games and carrying them up the stage! And the other costumes, especially the girls, were outrageous. Well I guess that is how most moms are I think. They would really go the extra mile to make their children stand out.

The event was fun and Joaqui had a great time, even joining the parade around the Sky Dome area. In the past when he used to like Superman, he would wear the Superman costume almost everyday. Now I think he has a new favorite costume. Arrrr!

December 24, 2011

looking forward

Today is the day before Christmas and I am filled with hope that next year will be a much better year for us. I am looking forward to 2012 because that is the year that we will be almost debt free. Yes, one of our major loans will be finished by December 2012 and we are doing the best we can to keep our financial status intact. 2011 has been a difficult year financially because of the economic regression, the U.S. recession and the calamities our country has encountered, and to be able to look forward to 2012 gives me hope.

Next year we will also be considering decisions with regard to our financial status, like there might be ways where we can cut off on our bills including credit card payments. We have been doing great and only using our credit cards for emergency purposes or much needed items that we need to buy. Since we are of very good credit standing, credit card companies are offering us balance transfer credit cards, which would allow us to transfer our balance from our existing credit card to a new one, at a much lower interest rate. I think it is a good enough deal to minimize our credit card debt.

I have been reading a lot of articles about money management and doing analysis on how we can pay off our debt early. I am very hopeful that it will not take long. We are working very hard and doing our best not to waste our hard-earned money and be on the road to financial freedom. Even though Christmastime means having to spend on so much, we were still able to stay within our budget and what I am really proud of was that we were still able to give to the victims of typhoon Sendong in Mindanao. And I think that is the true meaning of Christmas.

August 22, 2011

what little boys are made of

Even though little boys are made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails, they can be the sweetest at the same time. My heart was filled with joy just the other day during one of my conversations with our son. He was standing on the bed as I was helping him get dressed when he clasped my face with his hands and told me, "Mommy, you are very beautiful!" I smiled (actually I grinned ear to ear) and said, "Thank you!" Then he added, "You're pretty!" I replied, "Awww...thank you, you're very sweet!" He was silent for a while and said, "You're also very nice and I love you always!" This time I hugged him tight and told him, "I love you always and forever."

I realized that he may be up to hundreds of roguishness each day and sometimes drives me crazy, yet at the end of each day he is a very sweet little boy and my heart just overflows with love for him.

August 17, 2011


My mind is blank of what to contribute for today's letter. You see, my son's school lesson is about the letter E and we are studying words that starts with letter E, so I can only think of preschool E words like elephant, engine, eyes, ears and eggplant.

Now why don't I share with you some unusual words beginning with E....

eigne - first born
emetology - study of vomiting
enosimania - pathological belief that one has sinned
eellogofusciouhipoppokunurious - good
ebriection - mental breakdown from too much drinking
encomic - having closely curled hair
epeolatry - worship of words
ergophobia - fear of work
exspuition - spitting
eudaemonism - ethical belief that happiness equals morality

I hope to educate my readers with these E words. Now I'm done and have an eellogofusciouhipoppokunurious day!

This is my entry for ABC Wednesday.

August 10, 2011

D for Dinosaur

My son has been preoccupied with Dinosaurs after watching this film. It is about an orphaned dinosaur who is raised by lemurs who then joins an arduous journey to the nesting grounds after a meteorite shower destroys his family home. His favorite dinosaur here is the T-Rex, and so since then, my days are quite filled with questions about Dinosaurs.

Did you know that.....

The word dinosaur comes from the Greek language and means ‘terrible lizard’. The word was coined by English paleontologist Richard Owen in 1842 and was meant to refer to dinosaur's impressive size rather than their scary appearance.

Dinosaurs lived and evolved for over 185 million years until they became extinct. The cause has not been proven yet, but many believe that an asteroid Over 9 miles wide hit the earth in the Gulf of Mexico.

For almost 90 years, T-Rex was the largest known predator to have ever walked on the Earth. It was not until Giganotosaurus was discovered in Argentina in the 1990s that T-Rex was beat by a larger discovered predator. Tyrannosaurus was one of the last Dinosaurs to die out.

Birds descended from a type of dinosaurs known as theropods.

Source: Fun Dinosaur Facts for Kids

I'm also looking forward to read to him this book about dinosaurs....
Image source:

This is my entry for ABC Wednesday