Summer Checklist

Despite the current rainy weather, it is officially summer in our parts. And just like all the other summers past, I have a checklist for keeping cool when the weather gets scorching hot.

True, we have our A/C on standby which means its on most of the day, we still have some other gewgaws on hand for those days that we aren’t stuck in the cool confines of our airconditioned rooms.

Number one…paypay. Yes, the good ole’ abaniko is a life saver. I still prefer it over those fancy handpainted Spanish fans, honestly.

#2 Water…this is a no-brainer. When the weather gets hot, you sweat more. Therefore, you need rehydrating and nothing is better for rehydrating than H20. Although, a nice cool fruit smoothy wouldn’t hurt either.

#3 All-Cotton clothing. Because pure cotton clothing “breathes”, it is more suitable for warm weather like ours. You will find that sweat dries up faster when you are wearing a 100% cotton shirt compared to wearing a shirt made with fiber blends. Thin linen also works pretty much the same. And this is why it is common to see those Safari goers in cotton and linen while on desert duty.

#4 White…white clothing. Why? Because white does not absorb heat as much as dark colors. And it looks better too.

#5 Eat light….have you ever noticed that you tend to sweat when you eat a hearty and greasy meal? So instead, eat light..fruits and veggies FTW!

#6 Hats….yes, the bigger the better.  Straw hats, Stetson Hats, baseball caps…anything to shield your face from the sun is good.

#7 Sunblock…unlike in the past when the formulation of sunblock left you sticky and gooey…the sunblocks of today are lighter with higher SPF.

And last but not the least, take a bath more often…nuff said.

Pick-Up Sticks

Being a mother to 2 kids means that I have to contend with “kalat” every now and then. Wait, let me rephrase that. I have to contend with “kalat” all the time. And since Christmas was a scant month ago, you can imagine how much “kalat” we have around here.

These last few years, the kids have accumulated so many toys which were given as gifts on Christmas and birthdays. The thing about toys today….they’re so big. And they’re getting bigger!!! So that means that a lot of  space is needed to store them all. We’ve had to give away so many already and still those that remain take up so much space.

Gone are the days when keeping kids occupied meant getting an old garter and going to the garden to play Chinese or Japanese garter. I don’t see kids playing jackstones or “sipa” anymore. Nowadays, kids (if they’re not glued to a PSP or playing wii games) have these ginourmous toys to play with. Even those tiny collectible gewgaws come with huge houses and/or castles and/or hotels!!

Enter my pick-up sticks.

A few months ago I chanced upon a set of bamboo pick-up sticks at one of those stalls at the mall. They were selling for 20 bucks and I couldn’t help but buy…for the kids and myself of course. We had a go at it but the fun didn’t last long and the poor set was relegated to one of the kids’ desk drawers…until New Year’s Eve.

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So What Are You Doing For Summer?

Since the kids are on vacation already, I have enrolled them in several activities to keep them busy. We, in accordance with the kids’ wishes, have signed them up in activities that will work their mind and their talents. Much as I would like to have them take more physical activities, they prefer otherwise. I’ll leave those best fat burner classes for myself.

So this is what I overheard this morning..convo between the Hezzies and their playmates…with some epal from yours truly..

Bea : “KEWL!! You got a new guitar, Gaby!! Are you taking guitar lessons?”

Me : “No, she’s taking piano. Bea naman, why do you think we got her a guitar.”

Gaby : “I’m taking voice also. And Adi is taking hiphop.”

Yani : “We’re taking taekwondo next week..then we’re also taking soccer.” (in a very whiny voice!)

Adi : “We’re taking Kumon pa…o!”

This did it for me. I had to get some of my Bella Flores in somehow.

Me : “Me I’m taking a Thai cooking class….and I’m taking it in Thailand! O laban kayo!”

Silence…….

Yoshinoya’s Lenten Offerings and the Century Bangus Line

Japanese cuisine, for me, is by far one of the best in the world. This is coming from someone who abhorred using chopsticks for the longest time due to an unfortunate incident involving a chopstick, a sliver of wood, and a bleeding lip. But that’s another story. Back to Japanese food.

As I was saying, Japanese food ranks among my favorite types of cuisine. And of the numerous Japanese restaurants in the metro, Yoshinoya is one of those that I frequent. I’m a certified fan of their Beef Gyudon bowl especially especially when eaten with lots of their red ginger condiment. My tummy is growling just thinking about it.

This being the Lenten season, the folks over at Yoshinoya have concocted new dishes for their discerning clients. Along with their mother company, Century Pacific Group (of Century Tuna fame), Yoshinoya has incorporated 2 new seafood dishes for Lent.

First up….Century Bangus Kabayaki. Launched on Ash Wednesday, this dish uses only Premium Century Bangus belly. The fish is deep fried and smothered with their Yoshinoya’s special Kabayaki sauce which, to me, tastes like a wonderful combination of teriyaki and teppanyaki. Then it is placed over a bowl of steaming white rice and paired with some sauteed bean sprouts. Fortunately for us seafood lovers, this will be available for the entire Lenten season. And if our stars are in place, maybe even beyond that.

For fish lovers like myself, this is really a welcome treat.   Another plus point for me, it is made with bangus which is my favorite fish of all time.  And Century’s Bangus is something to reckon with, if I might add.  Very fresh tasting with none of that “lasang gilik” (muddy taste) of some bangus.  This can be attributed to Century’s excellent growing techniques which has been researched extensively by their experts.  Their bangus is not only tasty, they’re meaty as well.

They also brought back their Lenten offering last year, Shrimp Katsu. This is also served with rice and mixed veggies. Likewise, another variation is their Shrimp Katsu Jumbo Plate which is a combination of Shrimp Katsu and their famous Beef Gyudon. Continue reading →

Creative Horseplay

As a Mom to 2 precocious and overly-active little girls, it can sometimes be a task to keep them occupied when there is not much to do. Others would so the usual route and probably just haul their asses to the nearest mall and park the kiddos in Timezone or one of those pay-and-play-rubberized-and-foamed-play-areas but not me. I try to be creative.

Whether it means engaging them in some activity that would require cheap nike indoor shoes to something creative and yummy that would require the use of a #32 plastic sausage stuffing tube , I try to find ways to keep my kids entertained…..at home as much as possible.

Sometimes my kids would rather do art stuff. For this I have filled up a box with all sorts of art materials like crayons, chalk, colored pencils, paints, scissors with different blades, colored paper, glue….etc…etc. Its enough to satisfy the needs of an entire nursery class, actually. And its enough to create such a mess in their room but hey, at least they’re enjoying. And it exercises their creativity. There are days when they simply draw and draw and draw. Then there are days when they decorate anything from empty milk cartons to 1 quart plastic pitchers. Problem is, they leave their creations all over the house and insist that it be made part of the decor. We usually allow it for a while and when they forget, we stash their masterpieces elsewhere.

Then there are days that they want to cook with me. I allow them the easy stuff like cracking eggs or helping me marinate meats. And on really special days, I allow them to lick the frosting from my spatulas and beaters. Its a treat any kid would savor.

But don’t get me wrong, we do take them out too. Not too often though. Given the country’s current state, I would rather that they stay home and find creative ways to amuse themselves. Besides, I enjoy it too.

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