If you grew up in the late 80s and 90s like I did, chances are you’ve been missing Planters Cheese Balls terribly. I have fond memories of spending lazy summer afternoons demolishing an entire can in one sitting while reading Archie comic books.
Saw this at Rustan’s Supermarket the other day. I posted a photo on my mom group on Facebook, and so many went to hoard that for a moment, I worried they would run out of stock before I could go back for more. Hahaha. The shelves were empty this morning, but they had more stock at the back, so yay! ♥
It’s been wonderful hearing people’s stories of their childhood memories with this. Now if only Jack & Jill would bring back Bacon Strips.
You’re three months old today. Lately, you’ve taken to watching me. All the time. Even when you’re with your father, your head turns to me. When I hold you in my arms, you stare up at me, look into my eyes and at my hair, then you turn all shy and bashful, and bury your face in my shirt with a giggle. Then you do it all over again. This goes on for minutes. I never tire of it.
You still laugh and smile everyday, and you’ll talk to anyone. You’re such a happy baby. During your baptism, you chatted up the priest so animatedly the entire time that he couldn’t get a word in edgewise. You had all the adults in stitches.
Your sneezes are particularly adorable, and for the longest time, it’s been making me and your father laugh. So now you think sneezes are funny. We took you around the mall last week and we heard someone sneeze nearby. You laughed and looked at us, expecting us to laugh too. Silly little bunny, I love you so much.
It hurts to be away from you for however long, but I get to work beside your dad again now, doing something that we love so much. We’re incredibly lucky. And you are even more reason to do what we do. Because these couples, they’ll have kids like you too. I want them to be able to see the love that brought them into this world.
I take pictures of us often. You understand how cameras work. When I take pictures of the three of us and show you the shots I’ve taken, your eyes light up like nothing else, as if you understand that the three of us belong together. And I could swear you love the sound of the shutter. You’ve heard it thousands of times before, while you were in my tummy. I hope that wherever life finds you, it always reminds you of home.
Sharing my recipe for bread pudding. This is my second attempt at this, and it’s much better, although the first one has been tested by a friend already and I’m told her family loves it. (Yay!) I added vanilla, as recommended by another friend, and the boys can’t get enough of it. I’ll try it with blueberries next time.
We’ve discovered sandwich cutters recently, and Cor has been eating star and heart shaped sandwiches since. It’s adorable how much he enjoys them, but this leaves me with a LOT of crust. So I decided to learn how to make pudding. Seems wasteful to just throw them away. I keep the crusts in Ziploc bags in the fridge until I have enough.
7 cups of bread
1.5 cups milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pinches of salt
Preheat oven at 175°C. Beat eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Pour over bread in a greased baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes. Serve warm. If you prefer, top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Corwin is almost 4 years old now. He has been asking me to bake for him maybe once a week lately. He completely lights up whenever I do, so I say yes when I can. He helps most of the time, and it’s fun dancing together while waiting for things to finish baking.
Pinterest has been a big help with recipe gathering. I’m not particularly good in the kitchen, so the easier the recipe, the better off we all are. I got this muffin recipe there, it’s called Ultimate Muffins. Sets your expectations very high, doesn’t it? It’s good though. I like making muffins because I can make them with all sorts of ingredients. Some of the things I’ve tried with this base are cheese, oatmeal, peanut butter, cinnamon, bananas, and blueberries. It’s quick and painless, and great for school snacks.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
I’ve made a couple of minor tweaks with the original recipe. Buttermilk isn’t easy to find in Metro Manila, so I use whole milk instead. (I hear they have it at Salcedo Market, but it’s out of the way for us.)
Preheat oven to 230°C. Line muffin tin with paper liners. I prefer to coat it with a little of the melted butter.
Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.
Beat together the milk, butter, egg, and vanilla in another.
Pour into dry ingredients and stir until combined. Don’t overmix! Divide evenly among the muffin tin cups.
Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce temperature to 200°C. Continue baking until golden brown, around another 12 minutes.
Edit: Tried it with buttermilk instead of milk. OMG, it is so. much. better. If you don’t have buttermilk, mix 1 cup of milk with 1.5 tablespoons of lemon juice, and let it stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before using it as recipe requires. (Include the curdled bits!)
Cor’s teacher told me that he cried in class today. A bit unusual, as he’s been adjusting quite nicely to preschool. Apparently, they read a book and studied letter sounds, and “M is for mommy” triggered something and turned his mood around. He tried to fight it and rubbed his eyes, but the tears fell. At this point of the story, I couldn’t help but laugh. I could just picture it. He gets that way when he hears particularly melancholic songs, too.
“I miss mommy.” He was told I would be back soon to pick him up and was offered a hug, but he wouldn’t take it. “I want to go home.” Then he lay down on the floor and went rigid for five minutes. No screaming, no tantrum — he just basically checked out until he could regulate himself and join the class again.
I gave him many, many hugs on our way out.
When we got inside the car, he told me, “I cried in school today, mommy.”
Me: “Why’d you cry?”
Cor: “Because I missed you and I was sad.” Holding up his fingers to count, “1, 2, 3, 4… 10 feelings.”
Me: “You had many feelings?”
Cor: “Yes. I defeated them all.”
3 years and 7 months old now. He looks and acts older most of the time that I tend to forget he’s still so young. We’re still learning all about feelings, but I think we’ll be okay.
Jeff and I went to Japan last week for a couple of shoots. Our first shoot was in Tokyo, and we had a free day to go around. You better believe I spent most of it in Tokyu Hands and Loft. I LOVE paper. Pens, too. Fountain pens, Japanese gel pens, pigment ink pens. Jeff said I looked crazed inside the shops, and I’m inclined to believe him. I lose touch with reality when I’m around writing and art supplies.
I’ve heard about Pilot’s Frixion pens before, and was psyching myself up to walk right past them, but they’re erasable pens. By friction. It was pointless resisting. I got the markers and highlighters at Tokyu Hands. On the way home, at Kansai International Airport, I picked up blue and purple Slim ballpoint pens as a last hurrah. Should have gotten more. They turned out to be my favorite of the bunch. Hoarder problems.
The ones on the right side of the photo above, the Point 05s are available in Manila. Got those at National Bookstore a couple of days ago. As far as I know, they’re the only Frixion pens available here as of now. (If you know where they stock the others locally, do let me know!) They have black, too, but I didn’t get it because it looks more grey than black.
Which brings me to the giveaway: the highlighters. They’re called Frixion Light and the colors are so lovely, but I just realized after trying them out on my Moleskine above that I really have no need for them. I considered selling them to buy more pens (haha), but I’ve been really happy lately and figured it’d be nice to make someone else happy, too. So, if you like pens and live anywhere in the Philippines, you can join by leaving one comment below. Say hi, tell me something you love about your day for some good vibes. I’ll draw a random number from Random.org and match it with the comment number to draw the winner. Raffle closes on Thursday, October 30, 2014, 8PM GMT+8.
Update: Thanks for joining, everyone! Glad I made it a raffle, because I couldn’t possibly choose. Drew a number at random from 1 to 26, and got 24. Congratulations, Najee! Will email you in a bit.
I remember five years ago, when Jeff and I got hooked on vinyl records, we couldn’t find new records anywhere in Metro Manila. There were old ones being sold at Makati Cinema Square and Cubao X, but that was mostly it. I had to ask relatives to ship new ones to me from overseas. One time, a whole bunch of records got bent from shipping. I may have cried a bit from the heartbreak. So when Satchmi launched and started selling records in Astrovision branches, we were thrilled. We got to have a steady supply of vinyl, at last. We limit ourselves to one new record every month now.
Been following Satchmi on Instagram so I knew they just opened their very first shop in SM Megamall a few days ago, but it was my friend Benz‘s message with photos of the place that convinced me to drop by. I went there and fell in love, as expected. There’s lots and lots of records to make any music lover happy. There are a couple of listening rooms. There are books, letterpressed notebooks, coffee, and film. It feels like they packaged all the things I love into one little analog lifestyle shop. Definitely worth a visit.
Satchmi | 4th level, Fashion Hall, SM Megamall | @satchmi on Twitter | @satchmiteam on Instagram
I’ve always found childhood to be this magical thing, and I always used to return to the bits of mine I remember whenever things were rough, but I don’t anymore. I’m in yours.
You’re still two years old. You won’t remember much of these days. You won’t remember laughing so hard your little round face looked like it was about to explode when your father and I lip-synched Queen to you when you were three months old. You won’t remember you and I raising our index fingers and wiggling in the car to Semisonic when you were barely a year old. You won’t remember jumping around and squealing with happiness while finger painting. You won’t remember your father going down the giant slide with you, and reading you thousands of stories. But I will. I get to keep these things forever, and that is where you’ll find them if the time should ever come when your memories aren’t enough. Until then, I’ll keep them safe with me.
I think your childhood is filling in all the little cracks in my soul.
Whenever Jeff and I are shooting abroad, I always clear an hour to pop by the nearest Typo shop. I go nuts for their little knick-knacks and stamps and paper. Basically, it’s a bunch of ridiculously cute things you don’t really need but want anyway.
There’s been a little stall in Trinoma that’s been under construction for what feels like a year now with Typo written over it. I’ve gotten used to seeing the tarpaulin cover every time I pass by, but today, they finally opened! Typo is officially now in Manila.
There are lots of charming little notebooks and chalkboards that I didn’t get around to taking pictures of. Should be worth a visit. Enjoy!
Update: Below is a panoramic shot of the shop by Jenki Fernando.
Typo | Ground Floor, Trinoma Mall, near Cotton On
You are 2 years and 9 months old now. Last month was a bit rough for mommy. I broke my leg and needed an operation. It’s been a difficult adjustment because I’ve always taken pride in being independent, but your dad has been so amazing. He’s been taking such good care of me, and I love him even more now, if that’s possible. He’s our hero. I’m getting better by the day, and I’ll be walking again soon enough. For now, I’m learning how to be patient. And we’re going to be making jokes about mommy’s robot leg for a very long time.
You have been unbelievably sweet most days, taking care of me and giving me lots of hugs and kisses. You pat my good leg and ask me, “Is this leg okay?” And when I say yes, you hug it. You bring me flowers after your walks around the village, and tell me to “Get better now.” Not soon. Now. Oh, sweetheart. You are impatient, too, just like me. We’ve been working on that though, and I’m proud to say we’re both improving.
Late last month, you woke up, jumped on the bed, and said, “No more diapers!” We were surprised and asked you if you were sure, because we were heading out for lunch. You insisted, so that was when we started potty training. We were in no rush to potty train you, really. You’ve been advanced on most things so far that I figured, just like everything else, you would do it when the time is right. Your dad and I figured that we could either do it sooner and work on it longer, or wait until you’re ready and have it over and done with quicker. We opted for the latter, and true enough, you got the hang of it quickly. You are now the proud owner of many, many Batman briefs, and are learning not to show them to everyone. :p
I’m not quite decided if you’re exceptionally funny or your father and I just have a knack for finding the humor in most things, but you’re always cracking us up one way or another. I love the laughter that fills our home.
You adore our 8 year old rabbit, Marbles, and want to snuggle him often. Earlier this month, you petted him, saying, “Happy Best Friends’ Day, Marbles!” A few seconds later, in a smaller, higher pitched voice, you replied for him, “Happy Best Friends’ Day, Corwin!”
There’s a little girl in the village who looks for you often, one of your two best friends. She calls out for you from the street. One time she was shouting your name at 7am, I could hear you shout back from downstairs, “Wait a minute! Wait a minute! I’m eating!” I was half asleep then, but it was still hilarious. You went to her birthday party while I was in the hospital. Your aunts took you there because I couldn’t, and I promised you you could go. I’m told the birthday girl screeched when you walked in.
You’re currently trying to type on my laptop, too, and are inserting random characters everywhere, so I’ll take that as my cue to stop and play Pirates Covered With Clay with you now.
I have so many stories of you, of us, and I carry them with me wherever I go.
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