The SM Mall of Asia Lights Up, Sanrio-style!

If you follow me in Instagram, you'd know how excited I was to attend The Grand Festival of Lights Parade. Thanks to my favorite Ms. Lanie of Mommy Bloggers Philippines, we got to enjoy the event VIP Style!

Hello Kitty and her friends are in town to bring the Christmas cheer! Join the gang as they bring season’s greetings all around the Mall of Asia grounds in the Grand Festival of Lights every Saturday from November 29 to December 25.

There was a pre-launch party held at TGI Fridays. We met lots of other Momma Bloggers and some celebrity kids waiting to see Hello Kitty! Mila had the grandest time, running and dancing. She had her tummy full from the candy buffet (only apples and wafers for her though) and her favorite spaghetti.


milaOOTD: Light Show (Cherokee Top, Local Jeggings, Mocs from Mhyrtle Kids, Headband from IG Store)

Looking for Convenient Noche Buena Food? Try Family Mart!

Happy Sunday everyone! I just realized how great it is to have more than 8 hours of sleep! Finally! a much appreciated rest! I was dead tired last night, no amount of cries could rise me up. I wish it's Hubs' rest days are always on a weekend so we can have family time and he can take care of Mila while I get my beauty rest.

Because I slept early, I woke up early too. That's so not me! Mila is not a morning baby too. She's still sound snoring when I got out of the bed so I decided to clean up a little. Found tons of papers and receipts that I wanted to throw out. I love looking at brochures because of their pretty pictures. As I was scanning through my stash, I found one from Family Mart's Christmas with the Family Brochure. I just saw it today but looks like I had it for a while.

A Family Mart branch is just a few steps from my office so I normally buy lunch there. Have you seen their counter? Lots of pastries and sweets. You don't get stucked with just oily chicken nor boring hotdogs. If you haven't been, you should! A new branch is popping up everywhere!

I love how Family Mart is redefining 24/7 convenient stores. Just look at their Christmas Offering!

Pumpkin Spiced Cake on the cover
Black Forest, Tofee Almond, Yule Log with Belgian Chocolate and Hazelnut and other Cakes
Salmon with Dill Dressing, Ham and Cheese Platter, and Roast Beef anyone?
Lasagna, Pancit Puti, Chicken Relleno for your potluck
More wine for me please!

You can order everything for your Noche Buena if you are feeling lazy or just don't have the time (and skills like me). Or really because the food looks so scrumptious! It's also great for party potlucks! From your main course, to your dessert, until the party drinks, you can order it from Family Mart! I don't see any other convenient stores with this, have you? Just click on the photos above to see the prices. Place your orders to a Family Mart branch near you.

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with Family Mart. I just love to share great finds! :)


Glorietta Midnight MADNESS Sale


Glorietta is like a second home to me. Nah, I'm not a shopaholic. I just love discounts and great deals and Glorietta always have them. (I also work in the building so go figure). 

This weekend, it's Midnight Madness Sale in Glorietta! When I say madness, it really is CRAZY! Get deals up to 70% up. But that's not all. Watch out for merchants with the poster below. Flash Sale means additional 20% discount! Yes, you'll go crazy with as much as 90% off.  So grab your shopping bags and complete your Christmas list now! 


Healthway Medical Manila Moves To A Bigger And Better Clinic


Healthway Medical, the country’s trusted and most preferred ambulatory clinic moved its Manila office to the Ground Floor of 8 Adriatico Tower in Padre Faura St. Cor. J. Bocobo St., Malate, to provide better services to its client.

Formerly located at the Robinsons Manila, the Healthway Medical clinic will now be able to cater more patients as it moves to a bigger clinic in a bid to improve its services to provide total customer satisfaction and bring out the best healthcare to the people of Manila.

"This is a part of our commitment to continue improving the kind of service we give to Manilenos. By continuously enhancing our facilities, we are able to thank our clients for their continuous support," Carmie De Leon, Healthway Medical's Vice President for Sales and Marketing.

The new clinic will still offer facilities for special medical examinations, preventive healthcare and specialized medical consultations.

Services including Primary and Specialty; Famiky Medicine; Obstetrics and Gynecology; Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine; Elderly Care; Dermatology; Ophthalmology; Otorhinolaryngology; and other specialty care will still be offered in the new office.
It will also be catering diagnostics and ancillary services including Clinical and Anatomical Pathology; Radiological and Imaging; Cardiac; Pulmonary; Endoscopy; Audiometry; Pharmacy; Ambulatory Day Surgery; Arthroscopy; Cataract Surgery; and home and onsite services to its Manila clients.

"We will still be offering all our services under the administration of reputable and experienced healthcare team in the country," de Leon added.

Healthway Medical has been in operation since 1997 and has earned a remarkable reputation in the Philippines for delivering excellent primary and multispecialty care through a service-driven integrated delivery system.

It was also recently voted by the consumers as Trusted Brand in the ambulatory and specialty clinic category for 2013 and a Platinum award for 2014 by the Reader's Digest. They were also conferred the Marketing Excellence Award by the same award-giving body in the same year.

"Our relocation to a bigger and better office is a sign of iur commitment to continue delivering that quality service we have started in 1997. This is an event where we can showcase the realization of our goal to expand and enhance our facilities for the benefits of our patients," de Leon said.

For more information, visit Healthway Medical clinics at Alabang Town Center, Festival Supermall, Greenbelt 5, Market!  Market!, Healthway Manila, Shangri-la Plaza, and SM North Edsa-The Block. Call the Customer Care Hotline (02) 751-4929 or visit www.healthway.com.ph. Like Healthway Medical on Facebook. 

Thankful Thursday: Holidays, Warehouse Sale, and Gift Survey

Happy Thanksgiving!

Even if the 4th Thursday of November is just a US Holiday, I still want to show my gratitude to my family and friends in the US. Thank you for the love you give to Hubs, Mila, and me!

Thanks to my company too because all US Holidays mean no work for me! No work means more Mila time! Speaking of Holidays, have you seen the coming year's Official Philippine Holidays? There's about 9 long weekends there! I don't normally enjoy them because I work the BPO Industry and Christmas and New Year celebrations are usually spent at work. Well, I have Mila now and I want to have as much family time as I can. So I learned to maximize my Vacation Leaves and filed for Time Offs next year on as may Holidays as I can. I am now looking to at least 6 long weekends for me and Mila (6 more are waiting to be approved). Isn't that something to be thankful for?

List of National Holiday For 2015
infographic from www.gov.ph
Since it's Thanksgiving and I don't have to go to work, I declare Thusday my Pre-Black Friday shopping day. There are just too many great deals everywhere! I want to maximize my Christmas budget so off to the Sale I go! Thank you for the ability to buy a few things that can make others happy too! Here's some warehouse sale I want to go to: 
1. Bloggers United 8
2. Books for LEss Warehouse Sale
3. Crocs Christmas Megasale
4. Gingersnaps Warehouse Sale
5. Glorietta Midnight Madness Sale
6. Le Be Carre Revlon Warehouse Sale
7. SM Kids Fashion Holiday Sale
8. Team Manila Warehouse Sale

Before I forget again, I'd also like to say thank you to a few co-bloggers / sellers who hosted giveaways that I won! Lucky me! Thank you again!

The Graceful Mist (www.thegracefulmist.com): Got tons of beauty stuff in a super useful mini bag for all the kikay stuff and I feel the love with just the way everything was packed. So Sweet!

Techie Mom (www.thetechiemom.com) and Wonderpop (www.wonderpop.co): Hubs love the Snake Eyes (G.I. Joe) Shirt and I'm using the cutie mug at work! Thank you!

Saabandmeelo (www.instagram.com/saabandmeelo) and ilovehandmadeph (http://www.facebook.com/iL0vehandmade): A well made Cat Doll we named Meow Meow (very creative huh!) and a surprise pretty head bow for dainty Mila. Who wouldn't be grateful?

Monograms Manila (www.instagram.com/monogramsmnl): I can't get over our beautiful name art. I'll be posting a review on the gift she gave Mila and maybe we'll share one to you too!


Finally, visit http://www.monogramsmnl.com, check the products available and comment below what you wish to have. I'll be working with Santa's Elves to make it happen!






How I Dealt With Tantrums After All Else Failed

Toddler Tantrums


How to deal with toddler tantrums? Don't look at me for answers. After reading through hundreds of articles, half a dozen books, and attending a couple of seminars, I still don't have the answer. What I have is my experience with Mila and how I am trying to learn one bad day at a time.

Last night was the first time I had encountered one of my fears: I couldn't understand Mila. Her small cry turned into an hour of full blown tantrum and non stop crying. Just writing this now and thinking about last night gets me teary-eyed. If I'm at home instead of here at work, I know I'll be crying buckets because of frustration.

Last Sunday, the little girl was sound asleep by 8pm and woke up the next morning at 9. Quiet a milestone. Even the whole morning and afternoon, Mila was an angel. Just playing and eating and more play. I had to leave for a few hours but she didn't mind at all. When I got home, it was already 4pm and she hadn't taken a nap yet. So we went upstairs for quiet time and after 5 mins, she's sleeping soundly on my arms. No cries, no trouble.

After an hour, she woke up crying. Just non-stop wailing. I was surprised because she is generally a quiet baby and the whole day, she was so nice and happy. I tried to feed her, checked her diapers, made sure there's no insect bites or anything that may be hurting her. None. I know her cries and it just sounded like a bad dream sort of cry instead of hurting. So I sang her a lullaby, carried her and danced her. Not working. I tried to massage her tummy, caressed her head, rubbed her back. Still crying. Tried to give her to her Dad, but she held on to me and would not let go. I'm torn between putting her down on the bed to let her cry it out and carrying her just to soothe her. Neither worked. I sat down and looked her in the eyes and talked to her softly, just like on the guide books but she just screamed louder. She started kicking and hitting and rolling on the bed and I want to cry at that point. This is not my sweet Mila.

I know there is something bothering her. I just don't know what. This is my fault because she needs something and I cannot understand. I tried to calm her down but I cannot calm myself down. Her yaya even offered to take Mila and I refused because I am the mother. I should be able to care and pacify her. I'm keeping that pride in me so I just shooed yaya out of the room. I can handle this, I told her.

But I'm afraid really and didn't think I could handle it. I'm afraid I'm so busy all the time and cannot understand Mila's needs anymore. I'm afraid I'm not doing enough to care for Mila. I'm afraid my short patience is being tested. I'm afraid of this big urge to hit her, to shout back, to scream louder. That's the last thing I want to do to Mila. So I prayed. I just hugged her and I prayed. Not for the Lord to stop Mila from crying but for me to have the grace of understanding and patience. For me to have a calm heart so I can share that to Mila.

Prayers work wonders. Mila just suddenly stopped crying and picked up one of her dolls that I had been trying to give her all this time, like it was the first time she saw it. Then she was laughing. And she hugged and kissed me and everything is good in the world again.



Unique Learning Gifts: 10 Gift Ideas From The Mind Museum

The first one who called me ninang is 18 years old now. You can take is as me having a being a ninang too young or I am that old. Since then, I've had at least 15 more godkids and a few more nephew and nieces, whom I always try and make an effort to give gifts on Christmas. My aim is to give each one something they will enjoy and learn from. Sometimes, I just can't find that inspiration on what unique, affordable gift I can give them and I end up cramming. Even if I find something I like, the olders kids doesn't really enjoy it. Kids don't get excited getting books year after year. I almost always end up just giving cash. Bad Ninang!

Recently, I discovered The Mind Museum when I was looking for Mila's first birthday party venue and when they sponsored the MBP's Halloween Party we attended recently. We did not end up with this venue for Mila's birthday but I know I have this filed for the next years or so.

The Mind Museum is the first world class science museum in the Philippines that doesn't just provide a whole new learning experience for kids, it also has great educational toys for children of all ages.

If you are like me who prefers unique, fun, useful gifts that will poster learning, here are 10 Gift Ideas from The Mind Museum

1. The Scientific Date: How about a date in an artsy but science-themed gallery, or stargazing in cozy couches in a custom-made planetarium?  Surprise your loved ones and the young ones with All Day Passes or gift certificates to The Mind Museum! With over 250 hands-on, minds-on exhibits and live experiment demonstrations that unveil the remarkable science behind living and non-living things, a date or two in The Mind Museum is definitely a unique and exciting way to spend time together this Yuletide season. 

The Scientific Date
(The Mind Museum tickets all day passes is sold for only Php750/php)
2. Name the Stars after Your Loved Ones: Do you know that you can literally leave your mark in The Mind Museum by naming one of their virtual exhibits?  You can leave your names or your loved ones’ on digital exhibits found in the different galleries in the Museum, through a fixed donation that come with e-certificates.  Imagine the delight of seeing your family’s name imprinted on the virtual stars that make up a constellation, or name a specific kind of dinosaur that inhabits a virtual era in history. What’s more heart-warming is that all proceeds for this program go to supporting the institutions’ project of giving free museum visits to public school kids.

Name the Stars after Your Loved Ones
(Virtual exhibits’ price ranges from Php1,000 to Php5,000, depending on your choice of show. 
For more information, visit http://exhibits.themindmuseum.org)
3. The Key to Endless Discovery: A year-round, all-day admission to the first world-class science museum in the country—how does that sound? Interactive exhibits, a thoughtfully designed planetarium, meticulously laid-out 3D shows, and exciting science demonstrations await your lucky gift recipient. The Mind Museum’s Unlimited Science Pass also gives free admission to over 300 worldwide science museums, discounts on travelling exhibition tickets, birthday packages, and purchases inside The Mind Museum Store. And because the institution always interlinks its efforts with expanding the knowledge of today’s generation, this unli-pass directly supports free museum passes for underprivileged kids. (For a group of four or more, avail the Unlimited Science Pass for only Php2,250/pax. Visit https://www.themindmuseum.org/science-alive/63/membership-program for more information)

4. All for Science, All for Love: To celebrate the holidays in a different, more meaningful way, why not sponsor a trip for public school kids this Christmas? You can even ask your family or friends to join you in spearheading this project to further enrich the sense of wonder of these young ones. Don’t worry, The Mind Museum’s doors are open to plan and accomplish this advocacy of embracing and sharing the true spirit of the season. (To inquire about this project, please send your email to inquiry@themindmuseum.org.) 

Shrimp and Pasta Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing

Time for another pasta-liscious recipe. I learned this one during the National Pasta Day celebration last month. As I mentioned, pasta is such a flexible dish that it's also perfect as a salad. Well, I'd say this one is a full meal already: got Carbs, Protein, Veggies. Yum!


Shrimp and Pasta Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing




You Love Pasta? Enjoy It The Al Dente Way

Have you heard about National Pasta Month? I don't blame you if you haven't. It was also the first time I heard of such when I got an invite for Dona Elena Al Dente's National Pasta Day celebration last October 25 held at The Blackboard by Chef Michel.




Pasta had always been a favorite in our household. If you've been reading my blog you know that pasta is my house specialty. I already have posted 3 pasta recipes in 2 months and cooked at least 5 in a month. I find pasta a very flexible dish. We use pasta in soup or as a side dish, main meal with meat sauce, even cold salad. I remember my mom cooking spaghetti with all sorts of vegetables hidden in it. Mila always enjoys her pasta, red or white sauce, it does not matter to her.

I've learned a lot from the talk during the National Pasta Day Celebration. As a general rule for sauce pairing, thin, delicate pastas, like angel hair or thin spaghetti, are better served with light, thin sauces. Thicker pasta shapes, like fettuccine, work well with heavier sauces. Pasta shapes with holes or ridges, like penne rigate, are perfect for chunkier sauces. You want those bits and pieces caved inside your pasta. 

Pasta shapes alone do not determine if the sauce will stick to it. A good pasta has rough edges or texture so the sauce will not slide over it. That means that you get a mouthful of all the tasty goodness of the dish in every bite. Only pastas made using bronze dies has this kind of rough ridges

If you love Pasta, I bet you've heard about Durum Wheat Semolina. But what is it?

WHEAT is a type of grass grown all over the world for its highly nutritious and useful grain. It is one of the top three most produced crops in the world, along with corn and rice. DURUM in Latin means "hard", and durum wheat is the hardest of all wheats. It is high in protein content. SEMOLINA is the coarse particles of wheat that is left after the finer flour has passed through a bolting machine. It comes only from hard wheat or durum wheat. Semolina is often yellow in color which sets it apart from flour that is white in color.

Under Italian law, dry pasta can only be made from durum wheat semolina which produces high quality pasta. It is high in protein, gives more fiber, less starch and is also a lot better for blood sugar; it does not cause that rapid spike like regular pasta does.

Outside Italy, pasta is frequently made from other types of flour. Wheat flour is refined, white in color and much of its nutritional value has been processed out due to the refining process. It also comes from soft wheat (not durum), and when cooked it yields a softer product that cannot be cooked Al Dente.

Al Dente pasta lives up its name, as being “al dente” or “firm to the bite” - only pasta made from 100% Durum Wheat Semolina can be considered Al Dente!

Doña Elena Al Dente pasta is the only Artisan Quality Italian pasta brand in the Philippines! It is sourced from ITALY, the Pasta capital of modern times. Here's some of the fun pasta shapes from Al Dente that you can get creative with:
               
FUSILLI
(“Twisted Spaghetti”) This long, spiraled shape can be topped with any sauce, broken in half and added to soups, or turned into a beautiful salad. Fusilli also bakes well in casseroles.

PENNE RIGATE
(“Quills” or “Feathers”) - Penne compliments virtually every sauce and are exceptional when paired with a chunky sauce. Penne Rigate are ridged and ideal to lock-in flavor. Penne Rigate pairs nicely with chunky meat, chunky vegetable, cream, or oil based sauces. Also, these shapes are great for baking dishes.


FETTUCCINE
(from the Italian word feta, meaning ribbon) - Fettuccine is great for cream-based sauces.

SPAGHETTI
(“A length of Cord”) – A crowd favourite. Spaghetti is the perfect choice for nearly any sauce, or it can be used to make casseroles or stir-fry dishes. Go beyond tomato sauce and see what your favourite becomes.

LASAGNA
(From “lasanum,” Latin for pot) – Create original Lasagna casseroles by using chopped vegetables, cheeses and any kind of sauce.







After knowing what's the best pasta to use, it was time to put it to a test. Chef Michael gave a live cooking demo and showed how easy it is to make wonderful dishes using simple recipes with the right ingredients.

Chef Michel with RJ Ledesma of Mercato Central

Simple and Easy

While a few pairs of other mommies had fun with the cook off contest, I busied myself with sampling different dishes from The Blackboard.

Mouthwatering
It was still October so I didn't miss on the dessert
Fan pic with Chef Michel

It was indeed a fun learning day. I'm glad I didn't miss this event and will look forward to next year's celebration. I love pasta and I enjoy it the Al Dente Way!


Up Next: Another Fab Pasta Recipe to Try

Soon...

I know you are so excited babe. We promised to give you the best right? Mom and Dad are working on it. Soon little miss. Very soon! We still have a few days before Christmas to work on your special request. 



#milaOOTD for now: Little Miss Flores 

Floral Crown. Locally Made Floral Dress. Matalan Floral Boots






Want a stuffed toy? Here’s Zoorrific Christmas for all!

Here's something wonderful I'd like to share with you from Adventure Jungle:



To give back for the wonderful year we have at Adventure Jungle we are giving away our adorable stuffed toys to everyone.

Mechanics:

1. Purchase the entrance ticket at Adventure Jungle to receive the stamp card.

2. 1 purchase is equal to 1 stamp.

3. Complete 7 stamps to receive our signature stuffed animals.

4. You can combine stamps from friends or relatives.

5. Submit the completed stamp card to the cashier to claim our signature stuffed animal.

6. 1 completed stamp card is equivalent to 1 adorable stuffed toy or a combination of stamp card as long as there will be 7 total stamps.


For info, visit our Facebook page: Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle 
Twitter: @Kinder_Zoo 
SMS: (Neng): 09288343476


*This is PR material and words used are not mine


I Lose Sleep Over Poor Scores


A little more than 3 months in blogging and I'm losing sleep over small things. I know it's just a score but I can't help myself. I'm nerdy that way.  I didn't even know I'm failing and had the lowest score ever! (I may be exaggerating, or maybe not). I tried to find out how I can get my scores up but I'm reaching dead ends. Nothing seem to work. I cannot find what I need to see. The more I learn, the more I don't know.

I'm talking about my PageSpeed Insights ScoreI'll give a disclaimer right now: these are all information mostly from Google and I don't really know what I'm talking about. Google is my friend! I'm just rambling and you can stop reading now if you want to. 

Party This Weekend at the Sandstorm Electronic Experience



Are you itching to go to the beach to get your tan on? Or do you just wanna go to the nearest party hub And dance the night away? Here's the chance to do both! 

On November 21st, The Philippines will bring forth a festival that will fuse its biggest talents in one massive celebration of sound – the Sandstorm Electronic Experience, produced as a collaboration between So Familiar Productions, The Wildfire Productions and Trance Till Dawn.  The event aims to make a staple when it comes to the music festival in Southeast Asia as well as  to make the Philippines, the next music destination.

The festival will be a 3 day event at 3 stages and over 50 of the country’s greatest performers from Metro Manila, Cebu, Bacolod and Davao are representing every group from the city’s forward-thinking best scene producers, the enigmatic underground techno enthusiasts, the soulful house music lovers, the iconic bass music elite, to every hard hitter of the country’s biggest clubs and more. It’s about time that the country will have a festival  that pays homage to local electronic artists. A tribute to music and dominated by homegrown performers, in an absolutely breathtaking location by the sand and the water just south of the metro.

Our Weekend Snippets

I got about a dozen drafts gathering dust. Most of them, I'm done writing the text. My challenge is having the right photos added because it's either the event photos got deleted or I can't access it from my Dropbox. If you've noticed, some had been posted with stock or grabbed photos which I'm trying to avoid for fear of copyright infringement. With that said, I gave my self a deadline to finish all pending post within a week.

For now, I'll start with snippets of this weekend's adventures with Mila.



15 on 15 (Now is When You Do It)





















Mila dear, we mark your 15th month today. I'm reading this to you right now because I want to tell you this: Be a Doer. Be brave in trying new things. Take that step. Even if you fall, you can always get up. Then try again. Dad and I will be here to guide you. But you have to be the one to do the things you need to do. We cannot experience the world for you, nor shelter you. I want you to be a trailblazer and not be be afraid of creating your own path. Explore. Learn. Act.


Go babe, run and explore

If you can’t find the right words to use,
use the words you have.
If you’re not sure what to do,
just get busy and do what you can. 
The way to learn how to improve whatever you’re doing
is to do it.
The more experience you give yourself,
the more readily you’ll see how to make it better. 
When you have the desire to make a difference,
start doing whatever you can.
The most effective way to figure out what to do
is to figure it out as you go along. 
What might sound good in theory
probably won’t work in practice.
Jump right in to the real world,
and you’ll learn very quickly what works and what doesn’t. 
You are at this moment just a few seconds away
from beginning to achieve whatever you wish to achieve.
Get started, and keep going. 
Achievement belongs to those who act.
Now is when you do it. 
- Ralph Marston


This was first shared to me by our (Pogi) Boss Terence. I'm yet to meet him personally but he is one of the most inspiring, sincere person I've know. He has this endless pit of positive thoughts he shares daily and I've told him I will steal this from him.





Date Night at Bih-Zahr RestoBar

Hubs and I finally had a Date Night last Saturday. Nights out together minus Mila are so rare now but we agreed to make an effort to do this regularly. Just like when we were still working in the same office. We actually had only a few hours together since he still needs to play host to his team later that night, but hey, we'll take it. 

We used to frequent the bars in Timog Avenue and around Mother Ignacia Avenue so I wanted us to go there for our first date inforever. It's been a while since we've been in the area so we had no idea what to expect. It was fortunate I received an invite the day before to go to the re-opening of Bih-Zahr. That solved the question of where to go.




Bih-Zahr (read as bizarre) RestoBar had undergone a renovation recently, not only with the place but with their food too. The menu is the same as with most bars but it's the taste and the service that kicked it off a notch. I had the chance to sample their Chesse Stick with Wasabi Mayo sauce, fish and chips, sisig and beef salpicao among others. But the specialty of the chef and the one not to be missed is the Pancit. I wasn't expecting that in a bar but I will say this is one of the best pancit I've ever tasted. Just try it yourself and tell me if I'm wrong. 

Gingersnaps Warehouse Sale 2014

Gingersnaps Warehouse Sale 2014
{pic grabbed from Gingersnaps' Facebook Page}

If there's only one Year End Sale I can go to this year, there's no doubt I'll go running to the Gingersnaps Warehouse Sale.

I fell in love with Gingersnaps 6 years ago, when Hubs and I were looking for gifts for his nephew. The designs are just super cute and unique. The material is superb. A little pricey for most, but I don't mind paying for quality.

Now that we have Mila, our semi-monthly clothes shopping for the little girl almost always include at least a piece from Gingersnaps.

So when I discovered (belatedly) from Instagram Mommies the annual Gingersnaps Warehouse Sale I vowed I will not let it pass this year. But that was a very long wait.

Lucky me, there was a midyear warehouse sale too! It was an unplanned trip and we went towards the end of the sale. There were not much people anymore and the great items had already been picked on. Yet, we got at least 20 good pieces at P100 each. Yup! Only spent P2,000. That'll only get me 2 or 3 pieces at regular price so I pretty much got 17 pieces for free! I got to hoard a shirts and jumpsuits for Mila.

Gingersnaps Warehouse Map
{pic grabbed from Gingersnaps' Facebook Page}

The year end sale is about to start and I'm ready. Here's what I expect based on the last time I went there and feedback from other moms:

1. Prices can go as low as P100.
2. A lot of people will be coming, specially on the first few weekends so you have to be ready to wrestle your way around.
3. It's a warehouse with a tight space. It can get really hot.
4. Just keep on grabbing the items that fancy your eye because it will be gone at a blink.
5. There will be no time to check each item thoroughly. You can do that right before or while you are lining up on the counter.
6. Some items will have minimal damage, most are still in oerfect condition.
7. It's not all for the kiddos. You can find Gingersnaps for Moms and Just G for teenagers too.
8. If you plan to give some of your finds as a gift, purchase the boxes too at P30 each. It will look like you paid the full price instead of just a hundred.
9. Bring cash, but not too much so you can control your spending. Be wise and don't spend all your money in one place.
10. I can't stress this enough: do not bring young kids. It's not the mall.

I am not in anyway affiliated with Gingersnaps. I wish I am and Mila is one of those pretty brand reps. But we're nit (yet). I just want to share this great sale that we love so much. Who doesn't love bargains right?

On that note, I'll go tomorrow on the first day of the sale. Can you sense how excited I am? Maybe I can get more fabulous items this time. Hope to see you there too!



How to Update Your RDO Address And Change Your Tax Status

BIR TIN ID CARD


It's almost the end of the year. Our HR had sent in a reminder that we need to submit a copy of the completed BIR Forms by December 15 if we want to update our Tax Status and for our dependent exemption to count for 2014. I've been too lazy in doing this. I had the required forms signed by our HR since April and I just processed it, seven months after.

I don't like going and transacting with government offices. I know there had been a lot of changes and improvement but I still find it to be a waste of time. That's the reason why I opted to have Mila and Hubs' NSO birth certificate delivered to us. Such a hassle-free transaction, thanks to NSOHelpline. I just wished Pilipinas Telesev and Citizen Services will also handle BIR and LTO transactions too.

Since we still have to do this manually, here's some guide and tips on how to update your RDO address and change your tax status easily.

Update your RDO (Revenue District Office) Address


- You have to fill out two copies of the BIR Form 1905 to update your RDO address. You can download the form here

- You need to do this if you've moved to a different company, or changed company address. Most of the time, your employer will help with this process. This is also part of pre-employment requirements. For my case, we had to do this ourselves after our office moved to a new address.

- First, call BIR to confirm your RDO Address. That's where your TIN is registered and it's based on your previous office address. You can access the RDO Directory here.

- {Optional} Once you find our where your TIN is registered, contact the RDO's office. Check if they will accept a faxed copy of your form 1905. For RDO 050, they process faxed forms. I found out about it after I went to their office to submit my form personally so I was not able to utilize this convenience. It normally takes 7 business days to complete. Then you can call your new RDO to confirm. 

- If your current RDO requires personal appearance or you are in a hurry, you can check the BIR website to find out where the office is. Again, it will help if you call the RDO office for directions on how to go there. It should only take about 3-5 business days to transfer your RDO Address to the new one.

BIR Form 1905
BIR Form 1905
BIR Form 1905
Fill out the highlighted parts of BIR Form 1905 as shown above.

Change your Tax Status


- The BIR Form 2305 is used to update your employer information and your tax status. Fill out 3 copies - one for BIR, one for your employer, and one for your personal copy. You can download the form here

- This is required as part of pre-employment requirements. You also need to submit this form when you get married and/or you need to add dependent/s (ie, having newborn, legal adoption, etc.). 

- Each dependent is an additional P25,000 personal exemption on top of the basic P50,000. You can declare a maximum of 4 dependents. Take advantage of that!

- For married individuals, the exemption go to the husband as a default. Otherwise, you need to append an attachment that the husband is waiving the exemption, as signed by him and his company's representative.

- Submit Form 2305 to your current company's RDO. You have to make sure your RDO Address is updated, as per instructions above, for them to accept it. Attach a copy of your dependent's birth certificate. Have all copies received and stamped.

- Return one copy to your employer so they can update your records and change your tax status in the payroll system. Most company will require that you submit a copy before December for the changes to be effective this year. You still have time so go ahead and do this now.

BIR Form 2305

BIR Form 2305

BIR Form 2305
Fill out the highlighted parts of BIR Form 2305 as shown above.
Orange-highlighted fields are to be filled out by your employer.
Enter other data that applies.

When I had my RDO transferred, I submitted the form in RDO 050, at the Atrium Building on a Tuesday. I was told it will be ready by Friday morning (just 3 days after). I had my TIN transferred to RDO 047 which is in the Buendia Office. I went there Friday morning and, surprise, surprise, it's not ready yet. That's why it's better to call first to confirm. The guy in Counter 3 who processes Form 2305 gave us a phone number to call and told us who to look for to get the RDO transferred immediately. Nicely done!

Since we're already there, I also requested for my TIN ID. It's processed on the same counter so I did not have to get another number to line up. It's just the print out kind where you need to put your own picture and laminate yourself. It's for free and can be done in a couple of minutes. I forgot to ask about the Digitized ID Cards. I'm thinking they are not giving one out anymore because of the Unified Multi-Purpose ID. This works for me now so I did not bother to find out (lazy me!).

There you have it. I can't wait for my 2014 tax refund!


Ps. Pardon the selfie pretending to be an ID picture on the photo on top. Promise, that's not what I'll put on the laminated card. :)