Monday, December 28, 2015

Noche Buena by Mameng's Kitchen

A great chunk of this year's Noche Buena was lovingly sponsored by Mameng's Kitchen!
Thank you, thank you, thank you! --says our collective happy tummies.

Mameng's Kitchen is the brainchild of a good friend of mine who has dropped his corporate mitts to dive into his life-long dream of cooking. The rest is history, as they say, especially when you feast on glorious special deliveries like these…

Chorizo Pasta
Beef in Mushroom
Menudo
Mmm-mmm…!
No fast food slap-dash here. Each dish is painstakingly made from scratch. Slow-cooked, so that each bite you take is filled with the kind of love and affection worthy of your taste buds' ultimate joy.

You can find more of Mameng's delectable wonders here.

Call for bulk orders for the tastiest get-togethers. I mean, why wait for next Christmas when Mameng's Kitchen's door-to-door goodness happens all year-round.

Kain na!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Sleep, Geek, Sleep this Christmas!

AAAARRRRGGGHHH!!!!
IT'S HERE! IT'S HERE! IT'S HEEEEERE!!!!
AND JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAAAS!!!


Believe me, this fever-pitch degree of excitement is a valid reaction. Getting to publish a children's book in this part of the world is hard as heck. I had to go through an insane number of print publications that come with strict rules like, 'We only accept stories written in the native tongue.', 'We only run stories with a local flavour.', 'We only go with stories that carry a culture-specific moral lesson.' Blech.

Well, technology finally caught up with that nonsense and my son's book is now out for everyone to enjoy! All thanks to an open-minded e-book publishing company called Flipside.
FLIPSIDE, THIS IS THE BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT YET!

Aaand, I'm sharing this gift with you all, too!
The book is called SLEEP, GEEK, SLEEP. A compilation of out-of-this-world sci-fi stories borne out of the mad, unstoppable imaginings of my boy, Miro.

There are three short stories in this book. Heart-warming, knee-slapping tales that all end with lovely lessons learned.




It gets even better with the illustration prowess of three of the best artists I know: Annie Llanes, Bleps Dapo, and Klaro de Asis. Kudos, beautiful people!

Oh, but it doesn't end there. SLEEP, GEEK, SLEEP comes to you in two e-book format choices. One, a flip book version. Two, an interactive version which allows the reader to click on images to make them move and make sounds. HOW DELICIOUSLY INSANE IS THAT?! If you have a kid, or if you're simply a kid-at-heart, wouldn't you want to get your hands on something as nifty as this?

Of course, you would! And here's how.
SLEEP, GEEK, SLEEP is now available at Kobo Books and Indigo. For that fantabulous interactive version I was telling you about, you can score that magic from iTunes.
In the spirit of the season, we've also donated SLEEP, GEEK, SLEEP to the Global Filipino Library --a Flipside PEER program that aims to forward 21st century digital learning to pubic schools in the Philippines. Absolute coolness!

Whew…

Miro and I would love it if you could read these stories to your kids come Christmas night. :) Thanks and enjoy!

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Feels of Phillypinas

The best discoveries are those you never really planned on discovering. Hubby and I were on a quest for a simple lunch at RCBC. A little walking and a lot of stomach growling finally brought us to a resto we never expected to find.
PHILLYPINAS!

Yes, yes… it's a clever name, but we were hit with nostalgia mostly. Back in the day, we used to go to this Philadelphia Cheesesteak place right after recording sessions. And now, more than 10 years later, we were right smack in the middle of another very rare cheesesteak place!
Needless to say, we scampered right into the little joint and immediately found metal grilled chairs with matching metal framed wooden tables to catch us. This was the exact ambience that old cheesesteak place we used to go to! Suh-weet!

Of course, we had to order the Original Philly Cheesesteak. AAGHH! EXTREME FLASHBAAACK!!! It was the same super tender strips of steak on a bed of crispy veggies, smothered in the creamiest of cheese, and hugged in the loving embrace of soft, crunchy baguette. This thing of beauty is a monstrosity at 9 inches. With a lovely helping of fries on the side. All for P230.

We had to get the Poutine as well. Because cheese. And because it was generous nom at P100.

Since we've gone ultra cheesy with our lunch, we decided to cap everything off with a little sweetness. I mean, why not? Presenting… Watermelon Fruit Freeze. IN A JAR! Love, love, love!

It was a good lunch peppered with good times.

But let's go back to the name. The cheesesteak resto is called Phillypinas as an ode to one unique item in their menu. The Phillipinoy! The Filipino version of the popular cheesesteak --with chorizo and eggs! Oooh, that's something interesting to order when we come back. And we definitely will.

But for now, let me munch on this Philly baby and dream.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Papier Macheniacs: Bad Piggy Minions!

Remember that time we made Bad Piggies' King Pig? Well, it was getting lonely at the top. So we decided to make the old, snorty royalty some faithful minions. And here they are.

You can make your band of mini piggies, too --as long as you have the balls for 'em.
No, seriously. You'll literally need balls.

In our case --and because the season kinda called for it-- we used these big Christmas balls.

Then, we sliced a long, empty tissue roll to make these cute snouts.

And glued on these cola caps for eyes. With some extra cardboard, we also added in some details. Like,  little ears and adorable headgear.

Regular Piggy Minion
Soldier Piggy Minion
Mechanic Piggy Minion
Papier mache time! You have no idea how relaxing it is to brush glue over tissue paper squares over a smooth orb. That sounds weird, but believe me, this exercise can be quite therapeutic. And cheaper than shopping. :)

Oh! We penned on features, too. Like that classic, toothy grin every Bad Piggy is known for. Well, when the Angry Birds aren't giving them a bad day, that is.

Before you know it, you got a litter of Bad Piggy minions at hand! Our King Pig has never felt more empowered! Neat, huh?

There are many different designs from the Bad Piggies game you can copy or draw inspiration from. Try making a couple. Heck, try making a bunch! It's pretty easy once you have the balls for it. :P

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Taking Gifting to the Next Level

Ah, Christmas. The time for well wishes, and the time for well-planned lists.
As usual, the length of my lists have spanned the entire Great Wall of China. But, with enough restraint, I managed to whittle the lists down to a manageable number --which I plan to share on this blog. :)

First, what do I want for myself?

You know what they say: As you grow older, you start wanting things that money can't buy? Well, I must be nearing that particular bracket because nowadays I'm yearning for Family and Togetherness. To prove that I'm still young though, I just had to squeeze in the idea of Travel in between those. Teehee. Bottomline: none of those material possessions this time around. All I want is to collect adventures and memories.

Of course, giving myself these girly Cupcake Treats from Watson at SM Supermalls isn't half bad either. Mmm…

Second, what do I want to give my loved ones?

Another game console? Another gadget? Another Lego set with pieces getting lost under the sofa, or finding their way stubbed against my big toe? Oh, not this year. This Christmas, I'm thinking of DIY Galore! I can be pretty artsy and crafty with my hands. Perhaps I can knit a beanie for the hubby. Carve a wooden train for the little boy. Craft a comic book for the bigger boy. Bake cookies! --which I haven't done to save my life, by the way.

Of course, taking my boys --hubby included-- to the SM Supermalls' Toy Fair is the neatest gift, too. I mean, toys on sale! Cartoon characters as guests! Meet and Greet the big man Santa himself! What more can a child --and a child at heart-- ask for?

Third, what do I want to give to my community?

Oh, we do this every year! It's a fun family project for us. We donate books to schools. We DIY toys for orphanages. Uhm… I can bake cookies again. Haha!

Or… I can send SM Supermarket gift baskets to families so they can bond together over Christmas dinner. The bigger Christmas baskets can even stretch to more dinners which only makes family bonding stronger. Yeah, that's a better idea!

But do you know what the best idea is?

Take your Christmas gift-giving to the next level by being part of SM Christmas Bears of Joy! No
hauling, no pasting, no baking (whew!). All you have to do is drop by SM Supermalls. For as little as P200, get two fluffy, cuddly, uber adorable bears from the SM Bears of Joy booth. One bear goes home with you while the other bear goes to another child in a charitable institution. It's so simple yet so poignant. THAT'S how you put meaning to the season.

I still plan to follow through with my lists of gifts. But I will add SM Bears of Joy as my grand finale. You should, too. While you're at it, SM takes your shopping to the next level, too, with these amazing Christmas sale ideas. Ah… Christmas. SM knows you so well.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Take Blog-a-bing Blog-a-boom to the Bloggys!

Ohmygodohmygodohmygod…!
Your favourite Creative Parenting blog made it to the Voting Stage of the Bloggys 2015! YES! THE BLOGGYS! The Philippines' premiere awarding event lauding bloggers who have influenced readers to become better human beings on this...

---

Ok, what do you mean this isn't your favourite Creative Parenting blog?! Grrr… :D

In any case, have a heart and make this motherblogger win, why doncha? I mean, think of all the family movies I've reviewed, the toys I've unveiled, the arts and crafts I've dished out as far as the eye can see…! Haha!
Yeah, that's enough grovelling. Check out the little video we cooked up below on how to vote for Blog-a-bing Blog-a-boom at the Bloggys. Starring our very own Papier Macheniacs' crafts! WOOHOO!

video

Or… you can just click on this.
See? Voting is such a breeze. :)

So take Blog-a-bing Blog-a-boom to the Bloggys 2015, dear readers. This crazy-creative mom and her equally crazy-creative kids thank you!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Precept and Hotel Transylvania 2. It's all about Family.


From the name that brought you family products that go beyond expectation... comes a movie that goes beyond every family's imagination.


Get ready for an afternoon weekend of laughs and gasps as Precept Commercial Corporation brings you Hotel Transylvania 2! A blocked screening happening at Resorts World's extremely swanky Newport Cinema 4 --which suffice to say is also bound to give the family a movie-viewing experience that's beyond typical.

What's cool is that Hotel Transylvania 2 --despite its Halloween aura-- is actually a fun flick that highlights the importance of family. Even for the creepy creatures of the night. In this second offering, Count Dracula becomes a grandpa to vampire daughter Mavis and human son-in-law Johnny's little boy, Dennis. With the help of the hilarious Drac Pack, the whole film gives you a heart-warming, knee-slapping time as Dracula fights to keep his grandson and his family safe.

It's kind of like how Precept has, for many years, kept millions of families safe with its combination of hygienic, healthful, and home-friendly products.


Whoa! The value of family is so strong in all angles, it feels like destiny!

So why don't you gather the family together and watch Hotel Transylvania 2 at Newport Cinema on September 26, 2015, 2pm. It's a guaranteed bonding time that, thanks to Precept, is beyond exciting!
Needless to say, my family will be there. :)


Click here for seats!


*family tree mage from www.familytree.com

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Papier Macheniacs: YO, KING PIG!

This project has been on our waiting list for like forever! Well, we finally found the time (and the ball) to get this project running --and so here it is!
EVERYBODY… BOW DOWN TO YOUR PAPER MACHED KING PIG! :P

Sculpting this guy was a blast. He's made out of common household materials. A plastic ball, an old sippy cup, a smaller ball which we sliced in two, and newspaper.

We wanted some 3D action going on so we used bottle caps for his nostrils, too.

The ball had texture and it was difficult working around that even during the teepee stage. But then we decided the spikes actually gave our pig a bit of personality.

After an overnight drying time, we painted this bad boy.

And before we know it, we've got our own Bad Piggie head honcho rolling around in the house --turned-up snooty snout, golden crown, and permanent angry shriek on his puffy mouth. Haha!

If you think this is a cool project, just follow our lead and make your own. It's pretty easy to make royalty, you'll see. :)

Up next: Tiny Piggie Minions! Darnit… we're gonna need more balls...

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Your Throwback Theater Treat: PIXELS

Following after the heels of Wreck It Ralph comes another arcade game-centric film made more poignant, thanks to the appearance of major characters designed to squeeze every bit of hairsprayed nostalgia out of you.


You'd think Pixels was actually geared towards the parents rather than the kids who came into the cinema. What with '80s 8-bit games, Holiday-esque Madonna, and Ronald Reagan coming into the fray. But the generation gap was almost seamlessly bridged. And we owe it all to Pixels' brilliant animation and every 10-year old gamer's capability to scour the internet for oldies-but-goodies games pre-movie viewing. I say 'almost seamless' simply because when Hall and Oastes came on, my kids were like, "Who the heck are these big-haired people?!!"

You know what missed the bridge though? The main premise of the movie.
Seriously? This intergalactic war came about because of a little miscomm? Sounds like a typical day at the office. Listen, sending an '80s time capsule into space is an okay idea with me. But communicating with aliens using video games as delegates, not so much.

Ah, but I guess that is not the point. The entertainment value lies in that all-too-cool possibility of being front and dead centre in a video game. Turning these flat pixels into larger than life 3D computer graphics that can abduct or amputate. Game rules dutifully applying in the real world: 3 lives, power pellets, 10 seconds of ghost vulnerability. I have never geeked out so hard!

Centipede

Space Invaders

Galaga

Pacman

Donkey Kong

Especially when Tetris came in tearing buildings apart level by level! Uh-huh. Tetris is so boss.


Shining moment? I liked it how Pixels brought up the dissonance between ancient games and modern-day games. In the 80's, you relied on patterns to win and earn arcade fame. In today's gaming world, you relied on skills and a peppering of rage so you don't die. How the concept of fun times have changed.

Drabby bit? I didn't like it that Lady Lisa had to assume human form. She should've stayed pixelised like every game element recreated for the alien attack. If she was in pure bit-map glory and still had a love affair with arcader Ludlow Lemonsoft --that would've been cooler! And more fair. *pats Q*bert on his cute head*

Pixels! Get your game on and get over to the cinema nearest you. It stars Adam Sandler and Kevin James --so how can you possibly lose?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

*snap-snap* Found Project Pie on OpenSnap!

Grab your iPads, moms! It's time to take creative parenting into the delicious digital age!

Creative Parenting is all about feeding your kids' imagination so that it stretches far and wide --whether it be for art, science, even food. YES, FOOD!
And here is where a brilliant discovery on OpenSnap comes in.
With just a few taps on this Ultimate Photo Dining Guide App OpenSnap, I found the delectably creative mecca that is Project Pie!


Not your ordinary run-of-the-mill pizza place, Project Pie lets you customise your pizza the way you want it. By the photo uploads alone on OpenSnap, my kids and I got so pumped to run over to this particular pizzeria to cook up our own masterpieces.

Oh, I can see it now. My Teenage Cheese-Loving Son would go crazy with his mozzarella, feta, gorgonzola, ricotta, and parmesan combination. Heck, he might just throw in a dollop of sausage, chicken, bacon, and prosciutto for good measure. He'd make a classic work of art… but pushed to the hilt!


Meanwhile, my Younger Dine-Like-A-Daredevil Son would go nuts! Like, seriously. He'd whip up something as crazy as, say, a Banana Nutella Pizza. The pie that's good enough as a full meal --from dinner to dessert! This art piece would be something Van Gogh might make in the middle of an off-the-hook party. Hey, yeah!


Just thinking about the possibilities is making me drool. And I have the creative digital masterstroke OpenSnap to thank for that. Food tripping has never been worthwhile and this easy!


We're heading off to Project Pie in a bit. While we paint our pizzas red, yellow, green, and more… why don't you head on to OpenSnap? Let your fingers --or your children's-- discover food gallery upon food gallery in a snap.

For more restaurants and food finds, download OpenSnap app from App Store or Google Play.