Friday, January 31, 2014

Kung Hei Fat Choi 2014

Happy Chinese New Year everyone (新年快樂) ! It's officially Year of the Wooden Horse!

Here's a picture taken at Lucky Chinatown Mall. The mall is so festive. You can really feel the new year celebration and get to feel the Chinese culture here. There's free angpao (with purchase required), lighting of incense, striking a gong, picture with a kalesa statue, rickshaw and other Chinese accents, decorations and programs. 

So come and visit Lucky Chinatown Mall, walk along Ongpin Street and visit Eng Bee Tin for their famous hopia and tikoy, pay a visit to Narra Seng Guan Temple for more luck this year.

The horse is made up of wooden pieces of chopsticks stuck onto the wall by people.

The rickshaw.

Picture with the giant golden bar.

 Wishing you all the wealth and prosperity this year and the years to come. 恭喜發財!


Grand Baby Fair here we come!

Mommy Sally

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Celeteque Maternity: Anti-Stretch Mark Cream

Growing up, it was never in my daily regimen to apply beauty products or even put on make-ups. Maybe because I don't see my mom or sisters using them or that often. I also had the impression that the more chemical products I apply onto my skin or take in to my body, the more it could get worse or might even pose some harmful effects instead of good. That's why when I was pregnant, it was not that difficult for me to temporarily refrain from using perfumes or even just a simple lipstick. But despite that, I see to it that I still look good with my natural beauty. 

One of my dreaded part in my pregnancy was getting stretch marks. Because of my being too cautious or should I say stubborn, I gave birth without really being serious in applying topical lotions to prevent stretch marks. I can't believe I started applying only during my 3rd trimester already. Too late!

Here's a glimpse of my big belly at 3rd trimester, full of red newly-developed stretch marks. Yikes!

Why do we get stretch marks?
- having stretch marks is one of the common skin problems experienced by both men and women in their adulthood caused by hormonal changes, fluctuation of weight/size, growth spurts and pregnancy among others
- appear more often in adults because the skin becomes less resilient and collagen production becomes slower as we age
Recently, Unilab's Celeteque brand has come up with a new product to treat stretch marks. It's one of their latest product from their Maternity line, the Anti-Stretch Mark Cream.

Celeteque DermoScience Maternity: Anti-Stretch Mark Cream 100ml
What's good about this product?- first of all, it's OB-certified safe for pregnant women
- it helps strengthen skin elasticity
- it helps prevent future stretch marks
- it helps minimize new and existing stretch marks during and after pregnancy
- proven to reduce visible lines in the abdominal area by 63% by 4th week of usage 


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Teacher Yaya: A Workshop

I am very fortunate for being able to stay at home most of the time while keeping my job. I chose to work at home in order to fully breastfeed my baby. However, although I am just at home most of the time, I can't look after my baby-now-a-toddler 100% because I have to finish my work for the day. Therefore, we really need to have a yaya to assist me. 
The role of yaya is very crucial because she must act like a second mommy who would always keep an eye wherever baby goes and whatever baby does especially now that baby is learning to walk. I need yaya to assist me in putting baby to sleep, to bathe her, to cook her food, to do baby's laundry and play with her. What I do mostly is breastfeed baby when baby demands for milk and to oversee and look after yaya with baby once in a while. I have tried instructing yaya to read books to baby or teach her to play stacking and sorting toys but to no avail. Worst is that yaya would always open the TV for baby to stay put. That's actually my biggest problem with yaya. I would catch up by reading baby a book and focus on teaching her some skills as soon as I finish my work or before going to sleep.

Thankfully, there's a seminar that came so timely and hopefully would solve my current dilemma. I'm inviting you to this workshop organized by The Learning Basket.

Teacher Yaya: A Workshop 
Date: February 15, 2014 (Saturday)
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Venue: Medela House (#21 First Street, New Manila, Quezon City)
Learning Fee: P500 (Inclusive of Hand-outs, Snacks and Certificate of Attendance)

This is actually their second-run because it is a much-requested workshop for mommy's assistant, your baby's yaya/nannies. Why do you need to bring them here?

Because sometimes, it is easier to hear the following from somebody other than one's employer/boss:
  • Yaya’s special role in your child's life 
  • How to understand your child’s actions and not think that he is “naughty”
  • How to respond to their alaga
  • Why TV and tablets are not good for kids below three (3) years old
  • Why and how to play with their alaga depending on age

This workshop would tackle the following:
  • The importance of yaya's job
  • A more positive way of looking at the children under her care
  • A more informed way of caring for your children
To register, please go to this link.

We are our child's first and best teacher...
and Yaya is our assistant! 

Come and let's attend! Please feel free to invite your mommy friends too!

Mommy Sally

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What To Know Before Giving Birth

You think you don't need to study anymore after graduating from college? Of course No! Continuous education is a must in order to improve one's self. The moment I knew that I was pregnant last 2012, fear of the unknown got into me especially because I was a first time mom. I was overly stressed with so many things. I had lots of questions in mind, lots of decisions to make, lots of preparations to do, even finding a good OB was my initial concern. Luckily, there are lots of seminars for us to attend and be informed nowadays. It's a mom's responsibility to prepare for the coming of her baby. It pays to be prepared.

This coming Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, there will be a talk about What To Know Before Giving Birth organized by Manila Workshops in partnership with Medela Moms, Inc. and co-presented by Stemcord Philippines, Inc. This will be their first workshop for 2014 under the First Time Parents (FTP) Series which aims to help first time parents or even experienced-but-need-refreshers parents be equipped with topics on Pre-Birth, Delivery, Newborn Care and Toddler Care and of course Breastfeeding. Succeeding workshops will be announced separately.

What To Know Before Giving Birth will be a 4-hour workshop running from 1:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon to be conducted at the Medela House with address at #29 First Street, New Manila, Quezon City (between Gilmore Street and Robinson's Magnolia).

Topics would include:
    1. What to expect during your OB check-ups and visits
    2. Pain Management
    3. Pregnancy Nutrition
    4. Cord Blood Banking

There will be two speakers for the said workshop.

1. Dr. Diana Liu-Sarmiento, MD, Obstetrics and Gynecology practicing at the Asian Hospital.
    - She is a graduate of the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.
    - She completed her internship and residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UP-PGH and proceeded with her fellowship in Trophoblastic Diseases also at UP-PGH.
    - She is a consultant at the Asian Hospital Medical Center.
    - She is a writer for the Women’s Health and Wellness section of Yahoo! South East Asia. You may visit her website for helpful information pertaining to Women’s health and pregnancy with an online question-and-answer section called Magtanong Kay Doc.

2. Ms. Cecile Leah T. Bayaga
    - She is a registered nutritionist-dietitian and a full-time faculty at the College of Home Economics, University of the Philippines-Diliman.
    - She has been teaching Principles of Nutrition, Nutrition for the Lifecycle, and Medical Nutrition Therapy for the past 12 years.
    - She has published scientific articles on glycemic index, essential fatty acids for brain development, and clinical nutrition.
    - In 2005, the Nutritionists-Dietitians’ Association of the Philippines awarded her as The Most Promising Nutritionist-Dietitian.
    - She is happily married for 9 years and a mother to their son, Gabby.

Should you be interested to attend, kindly click here to register. Learning fee for individual is P600 while couple fee is P1,000. Payment mode is via BPI, Unionbank or Paypal.

Manila Workshops is encouraging everyone to register and pay till Jan. 22 (Wed) so that you can have the Manila Workshops Learning Circle Card.

Payment Details: 
1. For UnionBank Bank Deposits, please deposit to the following account: 
Account Name: Geraldine P. Arboleda 
Account Number: UnionBank EON Savings Account 109452023555 

2. For BPI Bank Deposits, please deposit to the following account: 
Account Name: Geraldine Anne Therese P. Arboleda 
Account Number: BPI Peso Account 1923-1262-59 

3. For Paypal, please make payments to: 
Email Address:
*Kindly add the Paypal fee of Php 100 to the price of the workshop 

Good news! Because you have read this event invite from my blog, I will be giving away free seats for three (3) interested couples. Just simply follow the Rafflecopter below. This will only run for a day and will end by 11:55pm of Jan. 22 as I need to submit the names by Jan. 23 to the organizers. Hope you understand. So help me invite your first time parent friends, pregnant friends, or planning to get pregnant friends. Thank you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mommy Sally

Friday, January 17, 2014

Philippine Holidays, Festivities, Movies for 2014

It's already past mid-January, time flies. I know many are aware of the list of Holidays, Festivities and Movies for 2014 already but I'm still making a post summarizing on these, anyway, for my own personal reference.

The list of holidays was declared since last year Sept. 25, 2013 by President Benigno Aquino III and there are 18 of them. For the full version of the announcement, you may read Proclamation No. 655. Proclamations declaring national holidays for the observance of Eid'l Fitr and Eidul Adha shall be issued after the dates of Islamic holidays have been determined in accordance with the Islamic calendar. According to Our Awesome Planet, tentative Eid'l Fitr is on July 28 and Eidul Adha is on Oct. 4.

I'm actually excited for the long weekends and there are 4 of them, namely:

    1. Chinese New Year - Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 (Friday to Sunday) - Yehey! I'm going to attend the Grand Baby Fair 2014 and also celebrate the birthdays of my 2 siblings and of course the Chinese New Year here in Binondo!
    2. Holy Week - Apr. 17 to 20 (Thursday to Sunday) - Hmm...I need to ask about this and plan for this with my family asap. I want to attend an Easter Sunday event with my baby! (I also want to attend a Halloween trick or treat event! Oops, this is for October, haha!)
    3. National Heroes Day - Aug. 23 to 25 (Saturday to Monday) - Wow, my birthday falls on a long weekend! I wonder how will I celebrate it this year?
    4. Christmas Day - Dec. 24 to 28 (Wednesday to Sunday) - Hooray, what a sweet Christmas we're going to have this year! Plan plan plan!!!

 Check out this infographic made by the Official Gazette, very user-friendly.
Infographic from the Official Gazette.

Here's a separate table listed based on the type of holidays and shows the days of the week.

Here's an infographic explaining the difference between a Regular Holiday and a Special Non-Working Holiday.

Infographic from the Official Gazette.

You can check out Our Awesome Planet's comprehensive compilation on all Philippine festivities for 2014.

And now, here's an infographic of the top 20 most anticipated movies for 2014 as compiled by Pinoy Exchange. I'm so excited to watch LEGO Movie! I need to persuade, plead and treat my hubby to watch this with me.

Infographic from Pinoy Exchange.

Here are some of the occasions that I need to take note of:
March 5 - Ash Wednesday
March 29 - Earth Hour (Saturday) 8:30pm to 9:30pm
April 13 - Palm Sunday
April 22 - Earth Day
May 11 - Mother's Day
June 14 - Father's Day
July 1 - Hubby's Birthday
Dec 8 - Baby's 2nd Birthday

I hope I could plan and initiate something to make use of these long weekends. I hope that I could be more thoughtful and loving during this year's special occasions. Hoping that 2014 would be a more fun, fruitful and financially-friendly year for me. I also hope that I could have more movie night outs with my hubby, family and friends. I need more Me Time, please! :)

Mommy Sally

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Dolcelatte Brunch Date

Last Sept. 13, 2013, I randomly saw and participated in a quick giveaway announcement from Dolcelatte's Facebook Page. Then surprisingly, my name was chosen out of the 20+ people who liked and shared their post that evening. I thought my slot would have been forfeited or given to somebody else already since I can't avail it that Saturday morning. Fortunately, they still allowed me to make a reschedule. Hooray!

Here's their Facebook private message to me:

To Ms. Sally Abella-Yu,
You won a FREE BREAKFAST SET! Please SMS 09178738670 for a reschedule.
✔ Winner is entitled to a PLUS ONE ONLY
✔ Breakfast set for the WINNER will include (1) BLUEBERRY PANCAKES and (1) SPANISH SALMON SARDINES
✔ The Breakfast Set for the PLUS ONE will be a choice of (1) Meat Lovers Omelette or (1) Corned Beef Platter*
✔ The WINNER and the PLUS ONE can choose from the HOT DRINKS selection for their beverages (1 drink/person)
✔ Winner must present (1) VALID ID, and BREAKFAST SET to be claimed for DINE IN only at 10AM-11AM only

We went to Dolcelatte last Sept. 22, 2013 Sunday morning to avail our breakfast set. Of course my PLUS ONE is none other than my hubby. He was surprised and thankful for this sumptuous treat.

Me and hubby dining our free gourmet breakfast/lunch treat from Dolcelatte.

Here's the breakfast set for the winner.

One thing that I noticed is that their pancakes are thick and heavy as compared to fast food serving. I realized that I didn't like blueberry on top of pancakes. I prefer syrup and butter.

Blueberry Pancakes - a stack of pancakes topped with blueberry compote. P175

Sorry but I'm not a fan of sardines but I love the fried sunny side-up eggs, as usual with any breakfast meal.

Spanish Salmon Sardines - homemade Norwegian salmon in olive oil served with two eggs and garlic rice. P355

Here's the breakfast set for the plus one. My hubby chose the Meat Lovers Omelette. I wasn't able to ask his comment but I think it was good.

Meat Lovers Omelette - three egg omelette with ground beef, ham and bacon served with toast. P255
Here's our choice of hot drinks, two orders of Dolce Latte. I love the heart-shaped design of the froth plus it comes with a biscotti. So nice!

Dolce Latte 8oz hot coffee. P128
When I computed for the total bill, we almost ate a whopping P1,041. Wow! If it weren't free, we won't eat this expensive. My hubby doesn't like me splurging on unnecessary expenses.
And since Dolcelatte is known for their croughnuts (croissant + doughnut), I decided to try one of their best sellers, the Valrhona Crunch. It was my first time to try it and was delightful indeed. By the way, we paid for this order.
Valrhona Crunch. P110. It has a chocolate filling inside.

I immediately fell in love with their place. The modern lighting & interior, the relaxing ambiance, the cleanliness of the utensils & the surrounding, friendly & courteous staff, and most especially the food quality & preparation are some of the reasons that makes me want to go back.

Here's a preview of Dolcelatte's dining ambiance. So peaceful and relaxing.
I've been wanting to try out their cakes but too expensive. I'll just wait for my birthday maybe or somebody else's birthday. :)
Here's Dolcelatte's menu and cakes by the counter.

I also find their flower centerpiece a perfect accent, adds up to the romantic-feel.

Here are some of Dolcelatte's mouth-watering cakes. Hope to get to try any of these on my birthday this year.
Dolcelatte is just along Quezon Avenue, just before Hi-Top Supermarket when you're coming from Manila.

This is Dolcelatte's entrance.
As my way of thanking Dolcelatte for the hearty and gourmet breakfast treat we had, I would like to invite you to visit their restaurant for a casual fine dining experience. This is a great place to bring your family to celebrate special occasions/gatherings, partners for a date, or hold your business/group meetings. You won't go wrong with the quality of food/pastry they serve.
Dolcelatte Cafe and Gourmet Bakeshop
Address: 1616 Quezon Ave., South Triangle, Quezon City
Landline: 332-3407
Instagram: dolcelatteph
Operating Hours:  Mondays to Fridays 9:00am to 10:00pm
                                 Saturdays and Sundays 10:30am to 8:00pm

Mommy Sally

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Just Thai at the Prism Plaza

Last July 23, 2013, I received a surprise email from Ms. Sumi of The Purple Doll congratulating me for winning a P2,000-worth of Gift Certificates from Just Thai. I've actually almost forgotten that I've joined her blog giveaway a month ago that's why I was surprised. I was supposed to treat my family for my birthday last year using these GCs but because their branch in Prism Plaza is closed during Sundays, we didn't pushed thru. If you want to know how I celebrated my birthday last year, you can read my blog about it here.

I've just decided to treat my hubby instead even without any occasion since we haven't been going out as often as when we were still dating back then. This served as our time to unwind and relax with only the two of us.

We went to Just Thai last Sept. 11, 2013 to claim for my GCs and at the same time decided to use them all at once that day because we don't frequent that place.

P2,000 Just Thai Gift Certificates won from The Purple Doll blog giveaway.

Here's Just Thai's menu. For me, it's quite pricey though.

Just Thai menu

Here are the dishes we ordered. We were very careful not to go over the GC budget. We started our dinner with this salad. I almost forgot how it tasted but I'm not a fan of salad or veggies.

Thai Beef Salad - seared and marinated beef is served atop crisp lettuce and cucumbers. P350

Of course we also ordered Thai's famous soup, Tom Yum. I always loved its hot & spicy taste. It helped perk up our appetite for the succeeding dishes.

Tom Yum / Hot and Sour favorite Thai Soup - basic broth is made of stock and fresh ingredients imported from Thailand. P190

For our meat viands, we ordered 2 dishes, chicken and pork in two different sauces. Actually the price is quite expensive for 4 sticks of sate chicken strips. They can still improve on the presentation especially on the side veggies.

Gai Sate / Chicken Sate - tender slices of skewered chicken marinated in curried coconut milk, served with peanut sauce. P290

I also find this grilled pork order not worth the price because the edible meat parts were minimal, most of the parts were fats. It's the liempo version of Thailand, difference is the tamarind sauce.

Moo Sam Chan Yang - grilled pork with tamarind sauce. P290
We ordered two bowls of plain rice to go with the flavorful viands.

Steamed Pandan Rice. P60

I couldn't wait for the dessert, my most favorite part of any meal. This one's yummy! I think it's my first time to try this kind of dessert.

Tha Kho - coconut pudding wrapped in pandan leaves. P140

I love their tamarind juice, uniquely quenching!

Tamarind Juice. P80

Here's the breakdown of what we ordered:
1. Thai Beef Salad - P350
2. Tom Yum Soup - P190
3. Chicken Sate w/ Peanut Sauce - P290
4. Grilled Pork w/ Tamarind Sauce - P290
5. Steamed Pandan Rice P60 x 2 - P120
6. Coconut Pudding - P140
7. Tamarind Juice - P80
8. Coke (for my hubby) - P80
9. Pad Thai Rice Noodles (take-out) - P280
    Total bill - P1,820
    Plus: 10% service charge
    Total Amount - P2,002 and we ordered just right!

For only two people, P2,000 is just too much. We just finished dining like a king and queen. We added one more dish Pad Thai for take out just so we could fully maximize the GCs. We went home so full and satisfied.

The final bill, just the right amount to consume all the GCs!

Let me show you around Just Thai's ambiance. Quite romantic, fit for a dinner date.

Just Thai, Prism Plaza branch's dining set-up and accent.

Here's Just Thai's logo at the entrance.

Thumbs up! Thanks for the yummy treat The Purple Doll and Just Thai! :)

Just Thai currently has three branches and we went to Prism Plaza coz it's the nearest from our home. It's at the 4th level of Two E-Com Center, near SM Mall of Asia. I didn't know there are lots of restaurants here. It's also my first time to go to this place. I initially thought that the restaurant is inside SM Moa. It's more of a corporate or office place.

Two E-com Center, Prism Plaza

Just Thai
Branches: Burgos Circle in Fort, Molito Lifestyle Center in Alabang, and Prism Plaza in MOA

Prism Plaza Branch:
4th level, Prism Plaza, Two E-com Center
Bayshore Ave. corner Harbor Drive, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay
Phone Number: 519-8135
Operating Hours: Mondays to Saturdays 10am to 2pm (lunch) and 6pm to 10pm (dinner)
Facebook: Just Thai

Latest update: Prism Plaza had been closed since December 2013.

Mommy Sally

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Trip to The Mind Museum

When I was still in school, I hated science and math subjects. I'm so happy when I married a genius to help me appreciate them better. My hubby is an astronomy enthusiast. He loves anything about the universe, outer space and all the rare stuffs including meteorites. He is a certified member of International Meteorite Collectors Association (IMCA) and the one and only in the whole Philippines. And because of his large collection of meteorites, he was once asked to display some at The Mind Museum exhibit last October 2012. You can check out his website here.

Meet my hubby, The Meteorite Man. Taken last Oct. 14, 2012, baby was still inside my bump.

Because of that, he was given ten complimentary All-Day Pass tickets worth P750 each. Wow! I was so excited and thought of inviting my family members to visit this world-class museum. But because I was about to give birth already that period, we've decided to wait for baby to come out and bring her with us as well so she can also enjoy daddy's prize.

Thank you for these passes. I'm proud of my hubby!

After a year had passed, our family had finally set a common free day to visit the museum and Nov. 3, 2013 was the day. Three days before, I took care of exchanging our E-Gift Cards with the actual print-out tickets through their website. Since there were 15 of us, the 4 kids were paid under the children's rate of P450 on the day itself while our baby got in for free. Hooray! And you know what, we even got a 5% discount by using Citibank credit card when paying at the museum ticket booth. The promo is still on-going until June 30, 2014, check it here.

Sitting by the entrance while listening to Aedi the robot talk.

In order to be able to fully enjoy the tour, they have a 3-hour time slot where in every start of the schedule (9am, 12pm, 3pm) a Mind Mover (museum staff) will brief the people on the different galleries that are waiting for you to explore. 

This is AEDI, the robot by the entrance. Its name is IDEA spelled backwards.

As an overview, The Mind Museum opened its door to the public last March 16, 2012 and they're about to celebrate their 2nd anniversary this year. The museum is a project of Bonifacio Art Foundation, Inc. (BAFI), a non-profit organization. They envision to be the country's center for public understanding of science. There are over 250 hands-on minds-on interactive exhibits inside and outside the 12,000 square meters "green" building. The 5 Main Galleries include: Atom Gallery (the strange world of the very small), Life Gallery (the exuberance of life), Earth Gallery (nature across the breadth of time), Universe Gallery (vastness of the universe) and Technology Gallery (how we live). Their tagline is: Science Comes Alive!

Let me share with you some of the photos we have taken during our visit at The Mind Museum.

The Atom Gallery

Trying out the giant Newton's Cradle.

My cousin with the giant melting chocolate bar!

My twin niece trying out the Static Ball. Look at their hair!

Look at baby's shadow casted upon the glow in the dark wall.

The Life Gallery

Picture with the life-sized whale shark.

The Earth Gallery

Family picture with the 40-foot T-Rex dinosaur.

Try to walk through the spinning tunnel and see if you can make it to the other end without feeling dizzy.
The Universe Gallery

I was able to take a daddy and baby silhouette photo against the moon light. My best shot so far!

I was able to breastfeed my 10 months old baby to sleep while inside the dim planetarium with comfy couch.

The Technology Gallery

Family selfie in front of the mirror.

My hubby is taking a pee at the dissected toilet bowl.

Hall of Philippine Science

Picture inside the giant inverted rice bowl that explains how rice is being harvested.

Family picture at the museum lobby where we presented our tickets.

I am so thankful that our family field trip was pushed thru. It was so hard to invite and organize a big group consisting of 4 different families but I'm glad it was a success. Thank you so much The Mind Museum for giving my family this one-of-a-kind bonding and learning experience. We really enjoyed especially the younger ones, my cousins and nieces. It made us realize, understand and appreciate science better. To be honest, I was not able to carefully check out all the exhibits because there are so many of them. I would really need more time to be able to finish reading and understanding all the captions on the display. Hopefully I would have the opportunity to visit the museum again next time and maybe when baby is a bit older already.

The Mind Museum at Taguig
Address: JY Campos Park, 3rd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Landline: 909-6463
Facebook: The Mind Museum
Twitter: @themindmuseum
Instagram: @themindmuseum

Operating Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays (closed on Mondays)

Ticket Price (with 3-hour limit): P600 for adults, P450 for children and private school students upto college and P150 for teachers and public school students upto college, children 2ft & below are FREE; P750 All-Day Pass (no time limit)

Time Slot:
9:00am to 12:00pm
12:00pm to 3:00pm
3:00pm to 6:00pm
6:00pm to 9:00pm (Saturdays only but no Mind Movers at this time slot)

If you have other more questions, you can check out their Frequently Asked Questions from their website.

Oh and before you leave the museum, don't forget to check out their souvenir shop. It has lots of cool items. Make sure to bring home something to make your museum visit memorable. Like their Facebook Page here TheMindMuseumStore to get updates on their latest product finds.

If you want to get hold of my hubby's meteorite collection, it's also available for sale at the souvenir shop.

Can't wait for our next family field trip! Where do we go next? Find out soon!

  Mommy Sally