Monday, April 29, 2013

Japanese Fever: Wrong Ramen and Nihon Bashitei

Jhopet and I admitted way before we got married that we dont have much in common. Well, except for the fact that we both love good food. Maybe the only difference is our choices over the quantity of food and the quantity of calories. Thank heavens for My Fitness Pal for helping me track those calories. Hope I can religously log-in again as I gained lots of pounds now that I have mandatory eating rule with the husband which I secretly like.

We've been resto-hopping for the past year since Jhops transfered here in BGC. The area is becoming a gastronomic haven with new and innovative food establishments here and there, trying to come up with exciting ways to prepare and present food to food lovers and enthusiasts (sige na nga, pati narin "instagrammer's") out there. Because we (ok, I am) sentimental like that, we try to document all our food dates as much as we can. I'm slowly printing each of the pictures making scrapbooks for our future kids to see (and laugh at :p). Beyond that, I feel that these small food dates become our de-stressing from the daily routines of our life. We get to share (more) stories while eating and along the way. It also became somewhat a habit to for us to find unique restos for us to enjoy.

For the month of April, we visited two Japanese restos, both with promising menus.

Wrong Ramen located at the back of my new school in Burgos Circle, caters to  Ramen lovers who are looking for a deviation from the ordinary Ramen flavors. The place is full of of quirky decorations and has this modern vibe with it's black walls and framed pictures. Long tables are usually divided into three using wooden plank dividers to easily accomodate big groups. Though the place is a bit small and "dark". I think that's the vibe they are trying to achieve- a somewhat "pub" feel.


The Tantanmen Ramen was a burst of flavors. Once it's inside your mouth, the different textures of included play a mix that appears to your senses. Lovely taste. But a bit overwhelming after 6 spoonfuls. Goodthing we shared the big bowl. :)

Everything seems to be so good with cheese for me so this tonkatsu is surely a winner.

One downside of this place is that they dont have rice. As an alternative, we ordered fried tofu instead. Ordinary tasting but it served it's purpose.

For dessert, we ordered mochiko ice cream. The mochi was too frozen that time so we didn't get to appreciate so much.

All in all, Wrong Ramen, is a place worth the first try.  Prices are a bit steep though. As for us, I think we'll try another restaurant first before eating here again.

The second Japanese restaurant that we visited is Nihon Bashitei
located along Pasay Road, Makati just beside Dusit Thani and Glorietta. The place looks "old" in terms of facilities but we were soooo happy with the food that this place already became our favorite! 

Since it was lunch time, they have this set menus for only 350php. I fell in love with the colors of this dish and even more in love with the taste.

The set menu also comes with this- salmon! Ang sarap promise! so fresh. The steamed salmon tasted just so right as is, as no artificial flavoring was added.

Jhops ordered their sushi combo that was plated so beautifully in this wooden plank. This costs 350 php also, a steal for a plate this big. Tasted soo good too.

They have small rooms with low Japanese tables to
complete the Jap experience.

We really enjoyed out lunch date here :) I think the place just needed some cleaning and renovation but the food justifies the place. The food is so delicious and we are really coming for
more. :) Worth every single penny :)

We visited quite a few more restos after this for the whole month of May and June :) sharing some of them here soon, too :)

Any more Japanese restos that you can recommend? I would love to read all about them so just drop me a message below :) 

enjoy your weekend :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Favorite Preschool Activities

What I learned from taking up FLCD (Family Life and Child Development) is that learning should come in forms of experiences-meaningful experiences that make the lesson stick to the children, not just for one day but for a life time. After all, you need your ABC's and 123's all your life, right? :)

I can't remember the moment that I learned how to read and write during my preschool days. What I do remember is how I learned about the color yellow. You see, my teacher asked us to bring a yellow fruit for Show and Tell. My mom wanted me to bring something different so she let me bring a "chesa" fruit straight from my lolo's tree. It's a small yellow fruit that tastes like "papaya" which is too slimy for me. As it turned out, we were supposed to eat the fruit that we brought in school. I sat there, jealous of my classmates who were eating mangoes and bananas. So much for bringing something different. hehehe At least, I really did learn about the color yellow :p And I can still picture that classroom moment until now.

So as I started teaching, I try to make each and every activity as experiential as possible. As hands-on, as fun and as interesting as that of Dora and all the other cartoons out there.
Si Dora may Boots, ako anong meron ako para maging interesado ang mga bata sa akin?

So this post is just a roundup of my favorite preschool activities that I think my students enjoyed. Some of which, I had fun doing as much if not more than they did. :)

I got some of these ideas in Pinterest. I am addicted to that site and so thankful to the hardworking and generous teachers around the world who shared their activities and even their printables. Seryoso, para akong batang in awe, everytime I see super nice teaching blogs. Ang effort lang nila!  To think that some of them are moms already. I hope I can also juggle work and being a mom in the future. :)

From now on, I'll try to document all my classroom activities so that somehow, I can give back to the teachers aroud the world. Much like giving world peace. haha! :)

So here they are, my favorite preschool activities (in random order)

1. We made crafts using the shape of the letter and called it "Alpha-friends" :) We used foam sheets, googly eyes and cotton for this letter R-abbit craft. I'll share with you all the crafts for the whole alphabet in a different post, SOON :)

2. During Nutririon Week, we made (and ate) fruit salad in class...

3 ... and used cut-out  real life vegetables to make these fabulous veggie prints. My favorite is the cabbage, which when cut near the stalk, makes flower-like patterns.

 4. K for K-ite :) Our kites were made of Japanese paper, straws, and painted ribbon pasta (my favorite! :))

 5. We pretended that we were cooking alphabet soup and spelled our names using bottle caps "macaroni" :)

 6. "Painted" and enjoyed these marshmallows using food coloring. We learned about "feelings" too :)

7. Printed out this Paper City from one creative daddy's blog ( Yes, you read it right, the blog belongs to a daddy who made this printable for his son to play with.  It comes with a Nativity set, Paris set and even a Sydney Opera House set :) Now, that's one creative daddy. :)

8. Learned about all the vitamins and minerals that we can get from eating a banana. We also did a little experiment where we wrote our names using toothpick in an unpeeled banana. We left it inside the classroom when we went out for outdoor play. Our names became clearer when we came back. I love their faces when they saw their bananas. (Teacher!!! may magic! :)

9. Of course, we read the "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" book when we reviewed the alphabet. :) 
Look at our Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom Tree made out of tissue rolls and foam sheets leaves and letters :) 

10.  Can you guess what farm animals are these? Made them using our handprints, stamped in different positions. :)

11. More farm animal craft. This time, we made a chicken craft using a cut-out of our handprints, some paper plates and construction paper. :)

12. Recycled our old boxes and CD's by making these oh so adorable robots :)

13. W day is w-ater fun day! I attached laminated w-word-picture at the bottom of some rubber duckies for the kids to be familiar with them while they play. 

14. And lastly, made cute necklaces out of these painted pasta noodles while practicing our fine motor skills and patterns. :)

Sp that's about it. I hope that someday, my students remember not just these activities but also the fun and the learning that we had while doing it :)

Cheers to loving what you do and doing what you love!

Can you share some of your favorite activities too? Leave the links below and I'll be happy to visit them. :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Thankful Tuesday: Salamat "Manos"

The first week of April went by soo fast. That week was the first week of me being a full time housewife (haha) which I don't think I mind so much now. Ok, sometimes, I still cringe when I think about it. :p I got bored at times but this was the first time after 3 months of living together, that I actually got to take care of Jhopet (a little :p).

It's really been a scary rollercoaster ride, this marriage thing. I have no idea how to do simple chores let alone be responsible for a whole household. Eh kasi hindi ko pa naman natry gumawa ng gawaing bahay, consistently dati. Blame it to my parents who never really forced us to do chores at home. (joke lang!, I blame my lazy and prinsesa self for it) So, this needs a lot of practice for me and patience for Jhopet when I fail to do things properly.  All of which we kinda do in baby steps (hehehe)

If I were to choose one thing that I enjoy doing at home, I would definitely choose- cooking. I love how all my senses work together when I cook. Colors popping out of the plates, aroma all over the house and all those rich tastes in my mouth as I sample each of them. Cooking is really much like a preschool activity, definitely targets lots of skills :)

                                                   Look at all those colors on my salad :)

                  After substituting ingredients, the tonkatsu sauce tasted pretty much ok :)

This eggplant omelette reminded me so much of lolo's cooking at home.

Perfected the heart-shape egg this week too! :)

Of course, after all the cooking, washing the dishes, and cleaning the house (ehem, para akong nagthreadmill sa pagpopolish ng floor :p), my hands neeeded some extra love. At shempre nagfifeeling akong madami akong hinugasan na plato. :p

 I turned to trusty Mr. Google and searched for a new nail salon in Bonifacio Global City. After few more clicks, I stumbled upon this place called "Manos" which is the spanish term for hands. I was attracted by the pretty nail arts on their site and how they use organic products on their spa services. I also love the fact that they train women from Gawad Kalinga as their attendants. Helping them out for regular income. They also feature some of them on their website, giving enough recognition to the people who really keep the shop open and running. Dun palang plus points na sila sa akin.

So, Jhops and I decided to check the place out the next day (Ok, I kinda forced him to check it out with me because I know he'll love some pamper time too. :)) We were welcomed by a friendly attendant at the front desk. She smilingly gave her suggestions as to what treatment and nail polish brands we should get. At nakatagal sya sa kakulitan ko. That's another plus points. :p

I love the welcome area where clients can also order drinks and cocktails while having their mani-pedi.

I finally decided to have a Manos Classic Manicure (200 php) which according to their site is  
like a classic LBD, a little luxury never goes out of style soak • clean • express massage • polish or buff 

and got Manos Signature Spa with Pedicure (440 php) a crisp and clean mixture, infusing skin with antioxidants and anti-aging agents, that leaves you feeling more refreshed.  It uses green tea • lemongrass

Jhops had his Awakening Spa (440 Php) the spicy mints and sharp coffee create a combination that cools down tired muscles and stimulates blood circulation for an invigorating spa experience. Uses eucalyptus • peppermint • barako coffe  

Further inside, the place screams love for nature with wooden and natural pieces adorning the salon. I chose to sit in the coach area because it looks so cozy and girly which is kinda my default choice.

The attendants were all very careful during the process and were all accommodating, even laughing at Jhopet's out of this world jokes. We really had a relaxing morning, exchanging stories while listening to the slow music as we had our treatments.

I was really excited to try the nail dryer. Sorry na at first timer. It really did make a big difference as I noticed that there were no bubbles on my newly painted nails when they dried up.

I love this place and my hands and feet love it too :) With the warm cozy interiors and excellent service (and all the other plus points :p) this is definitely an added item to my "Happy Place" list.
Go check the place out too, if you need some quality pamper time. :)

MANOS Nail Lounge
Unit 2-I Crescent Park Residences, 30th St. Cor. 2nd Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig 1634Tels. (02) 478-4057 and  (0917)315-6627

Thursday, April 4, 2013

It's raining sunshine :)


I started to examine myself more during the holy week and found myself wondering about where I wanna go now and what else should I do in life.

My small lifelong dreams are slowly turning into reality. I got married to a wonderful man, have a job that I enjoy, I get to experience life's perks every now and then and I'm surrounded with people that loves me no matter what. I found myself, saying lots of thank you's during Sunday masses. I stopped wishing and asking and started to just saviour and appreciate everything.  

When I decided to let the sunshine and positivity in my life, blessings started to pour in. I wanted to share this feeling to other people, thus I post random happy quotes in facebook and twitter. I share pictures of things that make me happy- of my teaching experiences, of my love for food, of cute things and of course, of clothes and shoes. From then on, I received a couple of text/facebook messages asking about where we dine, where I bought the shoes, the clothes, the accessories, what course I took in college, what school do I work now, etc.  And I'm more than happy to answer and help out. :) I even get to talk to schoolmates that I had no chance of interacting back then. Some even wanted to become a preschool teacher because they said I make it sound so fun and fulfilling. :))

Sometimes, I also get "Sana pag lumaki na baby ko, kagaya mo maging teacher nya" or "Your smile is contagious" messages. At some point, I have this (yabang) feeling na I move people, that somehow I inspire them to choose happiness, to follow their dreams and make every (big or small) moments count.

Of course, in between those happy moments, are sad ones. The most recent is, me losing our baby. I struggled for days, got teary-eyed just by the sight of a child and became soooo sad that I dont have any energy to say a word. During that moment, I was overwhelmed with the amount of consoling messages we got from friends and family members-some called, some texted, some just gave a hug. 

I got my sunshine back in no time and felt more and more loved. I chose to look ahead and to not dwell on the lose but on the gain- Maybe we are not yet ready, or God is just letting us save more for the baby. I accepted that it's His plan and He knows better. Everything else followed after that.

I guess this can be the goal of this blog- to continue to share what happiness I experience everyday. Maybe someone out there, needed a little cheering up, or someone needs some push, or is looking for a happy place, or a happy pill. I hope they can find even a little of those in here :)

Feel free to share tips and tricks too cause I am no expert and I would be so happy to listen :)

Let's choose happiness then :)