Nurturing Giftedness For a New Generation

Excellence can be achieved with the right balance of Proper Care,  Proper Nutrition, and Support from Parents

The world has long been fascinated by prodigies - gifted kids whose accomplishments at such a young age, shed light to a child's inherent talent, intellect and precocity.

In the Philippines, perhaps no other personalities represent the concept and reality of what gifted children are than the three who illustrated it via one of the most memorable television commercials of the 90s - Kiko Galura, James Flores, and Shaira Luna.

But what has become of the three gifted kids featured in the brand's most prolific commercial yet? The budding poet? The promising astronomer? The medical marvel?

First of all, they're all grown up now and second, their accomplishments as adults are just as impressive as what they were able to deliver as kids.

The Gifted Alumni talked about growing up and how the gift was nourished
The young poet, Kiko Galura, has an established career as a publisher in ine of the country’s biggest publishing houses. From making words come to life in his poems, he now provides an opportunity and a voice to other storytellers.
Kiko Galura. Discovering the Gift. Sharing the Gift.
James Flores who was known for his proficiency in astronomy stayed within the sciences, albeit in a different field, taking his masters kn clinical psychology. From his love of the stars and their radiance, he helps bring out the brilliance in every child through outreach programs in music for children.
James Flores. Discovering the Gift. Sharing the Gift.
And finally, Shaira Luna, who was poised to enter into the medical world, grew up to become one of the most talented photographers of her generation. From her mastery of the human anatomy, she now captures the best in human form with her photography, building a successful career in around her passion.
Shaira Luna. Discovering the Gift. Sharing the Gift.
Was there any doubt that they wouldn't grow up to become successful gifted alumni?
It's easy to assume things come easily to naturally gifted kids. But it's important to remember that it's factor of different things that will carve out a good future for any child.

"A gifted child can be expected to learn faster that other children, have more varied interests, have greater depth of feeling and generally be more than other children," explains Dra, Leticia Penano-Ho, President of the Philippine Center for Gifted Education.

That said, one can only imagine how they have to struggle with expectations and the machinations of educational systems not built to support such young talent, not to mention the pressure it puts on a child's social development.

But environmental conditions, honing the dedication to succeed at such an early age, as well as providing good nutrition, are all factors that contribute to their development - and are all typically provided for by their family.

To celebrate the current success of the gifted alumni, Promil Pre-School brought back together the famous trio, almost 20 years after their commercial first aired on national television. The brand's heritage on giftedness is further exemplified through their achievements and their journey towards becoming valuable gifts to society.

The Three Gifted Alumni, 20 years after.
"Throughout the years, Promil Pre-School has been encouraging parents to keep nurturing the gifts of their children. As we usher in a new year, we encourage others to become advocates of giftedness as well," says Dian Yu, Product Manager of Promil Pre-School.

Parents always envision the best for their children - from providing expert care, to the highest quality nutrition, to supporting their children's interests and endeavors. The brand aims to spark interest and gain the commitment of moms and consumers to take an active role in advocating giftedness and nurturing it.

New Generation of Gifted Child
"Promil Pre-School is a catalyst for the Gifted Movement campaign, puts focus on discovering and bringing out the inherent talent of today's youth, by way of providing the proper nutrition, and proper care," says Yu. "Combined with the support of parents to continuously encourage kids to find their passion and make learning enjoyable, there's no end to what this new generation can accomplish," she adds. 

And as a testament to this, one only needs to look at how these alumni successfully grew to become the passionate, well-rounded individuals they are today.


Better Quality of Life in the Workplace for Moms




I've been part of the corporate world for 10 years now and I'm not sure I will stop anytime soon. There had been hundreds of times when I felt like quitting yet I stay. The urge had never been as strong as when I gave birth more than a year ago. I ask myself why I have to go to the office each day when I can just stay at home with my daughter. I know that this is a dilemma most new working moms share. 
Balancing work and family can be overwhelming. It's getting impossible to control my little firecracker toddler. Clients I deal with can sometimes act like unreasonable toddlers. Just when there is a big project to finish in the office, I'd have to run home because the nanny called in sick.


I must say though that going to the office, as chaotic as it is, gives me that chance for a "me" time without feeling too guilty. Everyone just needs a better quality of life in the workplace to keep us sane and functioning.


When I say better quality of life, that means a workplace that makes me happy. A place where I can grow and focus on my career. Yet understands that I am first and foremost a mother and would respect my priorities and needs.


I'm lucky to be part of a company that fully supports mothers. In fact, it's included in the Working Mother 2014 List of Best Companies for Working Women. If you would look at the table below, all companies that made the list offers Flextime, Telecommunting, On-site lactation room, and Fully paid maternity leave. Almost all has Mentoring programs and Professional development opportunities as part of Advancement Plans for working moms. There's On-site seasonal flu vaccination and even my much needed Weigh-loss programs. I make sure to utilize these offerings. It helps with my overall well-being and that gives me the strength to tackle my home duties when I get home.
source: www.wmmsurveys.com

In addition, according to Sodexho, a worldwide leader in Quality of Life Services, there are 6 aspects of Quality of Life that businesses can focus on to drive individual and collective performance.

Social Interaction – factors that strengthen the bonds of relationships. Examples are access to cultural events, concerts, exhibits, etc. for employees
Ease & Efficiency – implementing programs and services to help employees carry out activities with more ease. Onsite child care facilities and programs that help employees reduce stress 
Physical Environment – everything that contributes to an individual’s comfort and sense of safety, from building maintenance to comfortable and safe work spaces 
Personal Growth – promoting individual progress and growth. Professional development programs in technology, foreign languages, etc. can help individuals advance their education. 
Recognition – allowing an individual to feel truly valued. Helping to research and create recognition programs that truly reward employees for good work 
Health & Well-Being – promoting a healthy lifestyle through nutritious meals, a well-balanced diet and exercise. This can include restaurant vouchers and healthy food options, as well on-site exercise facilities or gym memberships
These things help ensure that parents would have the tools and options to continue working without having to suffer the care of their child.

It's also an intentional challenge for myself to keep my workplace Zen. I work better under pressure but my body would not take that much beating anymore. I remove unnecessary stressors - rude coworkers, impossible clients, cluttered desk, shifting work schedule. These seem inevitable but there are ways to address and manage them well.

One strict rule: go home on time. Working extended hours will not make you more productive. It will also keep you from your child longer which can worsen your separation anxiety. I know I miss my baby all the time and it's sometimes too hard to get up and leave for work. I just think about why I need and want to work. To keep me focused in the office, I take my 15-minute breaks and use that to get updates from home. At least I know she is safe and well and may not really be missing me.

Venting out and listening to others help me see things from a different perspective. Sharing wonderful and funny misadventures of your kids with another mother that has the same work stress as yours (yeah, I can hear her shout on the phone right across the hall), that's hours worth of therapy for you. And you just end up being happy and laughing together. Maybe even swapping baby recipes.

If you have talked to me recently or read my previous posts, you know I had been thinking of working from home. That time may come. For now, I enjoy working in the office. There are challenges for sure. For anyone, our employers can help ease this process. Attend those wellness programs, enroll in a new training, take advantage of the free day care and use flextime well. Even if your company does not offer these services, know that you can make your own little space of happiness in your workplace. That picture frame or even a collage of you kid's pictures right next to a succulent on your table is your oasis. A better quality of life in the workplace makes for a productive and  happy working mom. a happy mom makes for happy kids and a happy family.

This post is part of International Quality of Life BlogIt Day, sponsored by Sodexo. For more information about #QoL, visit Sodexo’s Quality of Life Observer website










The Ajinomoto® Umami Culinary Challenge - Now On It's 6th Year


{press release}


The annual Ajinomoto® Umami Culinary Challenge (UCC) 2015 is slated on Friday, January 30, 2015 at the Hall 2 of the SMX Convention Hall from 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM. On its 6th year, UCC organizer, Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation, puts together the best culinary teams from Luzon-Visayas-Mindanao in one (1) cooking arena to showcase their masterful culinary creations. UCC is the biggest, intercollegiate, multi-category culinary competition that focuses on the delicious potential of umami, the 5th basic
taste. The event attracts HRM and Nutrition students in 54 schools coming from NCR, Ilocos, CALABARZON, Central Luzon and Bicol Regions and regional winners from Visayas and Mindanao. 


Apart from the Luzon-Visayas-Mindanao Cooking Showdown, UCC 2015 features three (3) competition
categories: Best Filipino Umami Dish, My Own Umami Creation and My Eat Well, Live Well® Plate. The
competing teams will be judged based on intensity of their dish’s umami taste, culinary technique and
creativity, dish preparation and plate presentation. One of the major criteria is the Eat Well, Live Well.®
Cooking, which referred to culinary nutrition or the integration of culinary skills and nutrition knowledge
to create delicious and nourishing umami dish.

Winners will receive cash prizes: first place winners P10,000, second place winners P8,000 and third
place winners P5,000. National Showdown winners will receive PhP 15,000. Major prizes also include
gifts from UCC 2015 sponsors: La Germania, Solane, Fujidenzo and Masflex.

Ajinomoto® advocates culinary nutrition embodied in its slogan Ajinomoto® Eat Well, Live Well. Leading
technical experts in food, nutrition and medicine will also provide valuable insights to student-
competitors to solidify their background in culinary nutrition and educate them about umami and its
role in health and nutrition. Umami, the scientifically recognized and proven 5th basic taste alongside
sweet, sour, bitter, and salty, was first identified and isolated by Dr. Kikunae Ikeda of Tokyo Imperial
University in 1908.


11th Floor, V Corporate Centre, 125 L. P. Leviste Street,
Salcedo Village, Makati City, Philippines  
Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation (APC) is an affiliate of Tokyo-based Ajinomoto Co., Inc.Established in 1958, APC lives by its promise to provide consumers products that will always give the delicious taste to healthy and nutritious meals as embodied in APC’s slogan Ajinomoto® “Eat Well, Live Well.®” APC’s complete line of quality food and seasoning products are produced by international affiliates and local toll manufacturers using Ajinomoto’s license, quality standards and technological expertise. APC’s products include AJINO-MOTO® Umami Seasoning, Ajinomoto® Brand Ginisa Flavor Seasoning Mix, Ajinomoto® Brand Chicken Powder, PORKSAVOR® All-in-One Seasoning Mix, CRISPY FRY® Breading Mix, CRISPY FRY® Seasoned Crumbs, TASTY BOY® All Purpose Breading Mix, AJI-SHIO® Seasoning Mix, Ajinomoto® Brand Sinigang and FRES-C® Concentrated Powdered Drink Mix.



LIST OF SCHOOLS (AS OF JANUARY 27, 2015)

  1. Academy Of Asia School Of Technology And Arts
  2. Asian Institute Of Maritime And Studies
  3. Benedicto College
  4. Bulacan State University
  5. Calayan Educational Foundation
  6. Central Luzon Of College And Technology
  7. Centro Escolar University- Malolos
  8. Colegio De San Juan De Letran- Laguna
  9. Colegio De San Lorenzo
  10. College Of The Immaculate Conception
  11. De La Salle University- Dasmariñas
  12. De Los Santos Sti- College
  13. Dominican College (San Juan)
  14. Dr. Carlos S. Lanting
  15. Emilio Aguinaldo College (Manila)
  16. Facilities Management College
  17. Far Eastern University
  18. First Asia Institute Of Technology And Humanities (Faith)
  19. Green Valley College Foundation, Inc.
  20. Hercor College
  21. Holy Cross Of Davao College
  22. Jose Rizal University
  23. La Consolacion Colleges- Tanauan
  24. La Consolacion Colleges- Novaliches
  25. Laguna College
  26. Lyceum Of Subic Bay
  27. Lyceum Of The Philippines University (Cavite)
  28. Malayan College Laguna
  29. Manila Tytana College
  30. Mariano Marcos State University
  31. Mariano Quinto Allarilla Polytechnic College
  32. Mariners' Polytechnic Colleges Foundation
  33. Metropolitan Medical Center-College Of Arts Science & Technology
  34. Miriam College
  35. Our Lady Of Perpetual Succor College (Olopsc)
  36. Pamantasan Ng Lungsod Ng Marikina
  37. Pangasinan State University
  38. Partido State University
  39. Perpetual Help College Manila
  40. Philippine Cultural College
  41. Phinma Araullo University
  42. Polytechnic University Of The Philippines (San Juan)
  43. Rogationist College
  44. Saint Francis Of Asissi College
  45. San Pedro College Of Business Administration
  46. Southeast Asian College
  47. St. Dominc College Of Asia
  48. Tarlac State University
  49. Technological University Of The Philippines
  50. University Of Perpetual Help System Dalta-Molino
  51. University Of Rizal System (Antipolo)
  52. University Of Santo Tomas
  53. University Of The East (Manila)
  54. Wesleyan University Philippines

Heart-Healthy Recipes

Having just moved to a new place, I know it'll be a while since I start cooking properly again. We're practically living on carinderia, take out, and delivery food since we started packing a week ago. I'm glad my mom had thought of giving us home-cooked, frozen food that we can reheat anytime. At least we got something good while I get acquainted with the new kitchen.

As we setup the cupboard, it reminded me of Donita Rose and GMA 7's Basta Everyday Happy. No. My kitchen does not look as good, nor do I look as pretty and cook as well as Donita. I just noticed that we still have a couple of liters of Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil which is what Donita used in cooking heart-healthy recipes they showcased on the the show last month. Eight episodes featured Filipino-favorites such as Beef Stew, Crispy Calamari, and one of Donita’s personal favorites “in the whole wide world” as she shares on Instagram, Crispy Binagoongan. She tells of her Beef Kaldereta version “Pinoy ang lasa pero mas bongga! This is my Better Beefier Caldereta made healthier with Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil!” Other healthy everyday recipes included Wholesome Chicken, Paella, and the Heart-Healthy Salmon recipe below.


Heart-Healthy Recipes in GMA’s Basta Everyday Happy and Sarap Diva
Donita Rose shares heart-healthy recipes in Basta Everyday Happy using Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil. 
Crispy Binagoongan
Since I attended the the National Pasta Month and found out that the chef's favorite oil is Canola Oil, we immediately made the switch. Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil, Better for the Heart, Better for the Budget, is the heart-healthy, versatile, and value for money cooking oil. Canola Oil is one of the healthiest cooking oils because of its LOW saturated fat (BAD FAT) and high monounsaturated fat (GOOD FAT) content. Jolly Canola Oil has omega 3 and 6 which are good for the heart. It has a pale golden color, light texture, and neutral taste so you can use it for any dish. Jolly Canola Oil also has a high smoking point which makes it ideal for frying.

Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil keeps your everyday meals healthy with low saturated fat (bad fat) and high monounsaturated fat (good fat) content. It’s Better for the Heart, Better for the Budget! 
For more heart-healthy recipes using Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil, Catch Sarap Diva with Regine Velasquez-Alcasid tomorrow, January 24 and on January 31 at 9:40 a.m. to 10:25 a.m. as she dishes out two, exciting dishes: Pamplina, a Spanish-influenced soup dish, and tasty Pork Steak with Mushroom Bits. See the recipe below so you can cook with Regine during the show.

Sarap Diva with Regine Velasquez-Alcasid
Pamplina
Now that everyone is trying to get back in shape after the holidays, the easiest way to start is to be mindful of how daily dishes are prepared. Start the year right by using Heart Mate Jolly Canola Oil that’s “Better for the Heart, and Better for the Budget!


Heart-Healthy Salmon

Heart Healthy Salmon

Ingredients:

For the Salmon:
2 center-cut salmon fillets (6 oz. each)
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ cup finely chopped cilanto
2 Tbsp Jolly Canola oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Salsa:
1 medium red onion
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 pcs medium tomatoes
2 firm-ripe avocados
1 pc rip mango
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or to taste

Procedure:

1. Place the salmon fillets in a shallow bowl. Toss well with lemon juice, cilantro, Jolly Canola oil, and pepper. Let rest for 15 minutes.
2. Cook the salmon, skinside down in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan and carefully lifting the salmon with a spatula to loosen it from the pan.
3. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover the pan and cook until the salmon is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more. The skin should be crisp and the flesh medium rare.
4. To make the salsa: Finely chop onion and mince garlic. In a bowl toss onion and garlic with cilantro.
5. Chop tomatoes and mango, add to onion mixture, tossing to combine.
6. Peel and pit avocados and cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Add avocados, lime juice, and pepper to taste. Spoon over cooked salmon.


Pork Steak with Mushroom Bits

Pork Steak with Mushroom Bits

Ingredients:

1 kg pork steak, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp ground paprika
2 tbsps Jolly Canola Oil
2-3 tbsps chopped garlic
2 cans Jolly Button Mushroom Whole, cut in half
1/2 cup red wine
2 tbsps butter
garnish with some toasted garlic and chopped parsley


Procedure: 

1. Season pork steak in soy sauce, salt and pepper, set aside.
2. Preheat a pan with some Jolly Canola Oil and cook the pork cubes until slightly brown in color.
3. Remove from pan. Toss in the chopped garlic and Jolly Button Mushrooms. Saute then season with some salt, pepper and ground paprika.
4. Deglaze with the red wine then simmer until sauce is slightly thick.
5. Mix in the cooked pork and cold butter.
6. Transfer to a plate then garnish with some toasted garlic and chopped parsley.



Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil is exclusively distributed by Fly Ace Corporation. It is available in all major supermarkets nationwide. Learn more about Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil at www.flyacecorp.com.



Tech Corner: Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Won't Charge or Turn On



We had a full day today and after such a long day, all I want is to have a quiet time right before I prepare for work. As I get ready to go upstairs to relax, I picked up my Mila's Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 and OMG, NO POWER?!

I know for sure that the battery was at least half full, I just checked it two minutes ago. I might be wrong and the battery may have drained so tried charging it. No response. It's just a black screen and still no power. I was too tired and I have to prepare for work in an hour so I just kept it charging, hoping it will just magically start working.

More than an hour passed and I still have a useless tab. I've tried the following things that always worked on my trusty HTC phones:

1. Hold the power button for 60 seconds. Still a dead Tab
2. Press the power button and the up arrow key. Nope. Power plus down arrow. Nope.
3. Power, home, and arrow buttons. I got nowhere, it's so frustrating!

My sister had the same problem on her Samsung Galaxy Note and it was diagnosed as a dead motherboard. I am not willing to give up on the Tab yet so I brought it with me to work. I hopep Google will give me answers.

A common tip on different forums was to use a lower voltage power source. That means plugging in the USB Cable to your PC or Monitor and let it charge for a while. I'm not sure if it's because I'm using an HTC phone cable and not a Samsung one but this did not do anything for me.

The other thing left undone is to open the back of the Tab to mess with the battery/power connector. I can do that but i'd rather not. The Tab is only 5 months old and under warranty. Prying the back off will most likely void the warranty but I also don't want to waste 2 to 4 weeks waiting for the service center to diagnose this and/or give me a refurbished replacement.

Then I got an idea. When I used to work with desktop PCs and laptops, one of the rules to easily pinpoint the point of failure is to strip the system to its most basic components. So here's what I did:

1. I took the Sim card and the MicroSD Card.
2. Pressed the power and up arrow keys at the same time for 30 seconds.
3. Plugged in the charger and voila! The phone vibrated giving a sign of life.
4. A quick CPR is all it needs. Just a little more push. So I pressed the power button once more and I got that wonderful Samsung chime! Woohoo!

I heard this had been an issue even with earlier version of Samsung Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Note. If you are having the same trouble, you may want to try what I did. Hopefully, you get to revive your bricked phone too.

I hope this helps and good luck!




Little Miss Wow



I wonder where my Baby Burrito is. Sometimes, I miss my Sweet Cupcake. For the pass two months, we have Little Miss Wow delighting us with her antics.

For the past few weeks, Mila's favorite word is  WOW!

Doc McStuffin is on TV, WOW!
A car passed by, WOW!
Time to open gifts, WOW!
Here's some water, WOW!
Look at that ant, WOW!

She is delighted with every little thing she sees and she is not shy in showing it. It is such a joy when I see her eyes twinkling so bright with wonder. It's such a warm feeling when your child shows you how much she appreciates you!

Speaking of shy, I can't believe that a few months ago, I was afraid Mila will grow up a shy baby. Mila is far from a shy now. She may be a little timid at first, but her ear-piercing, high-pitched HI! will really get your attention. You can't help but say Hi back. I know I kind of sound the same but she got her soprano voice from her Lola Grace. No one could contest that.

She would say Hi! to anyone, from complete strangers to pets.
Often to her toys or plants even. Hi!
She loves other kids the most and would even go out of her way to reach out and say Hi!.
Beware, she will not stop until she gets your attention.
So better say Hello too!

I guess it helped that she is now able to socialize much. The whole holiday season was spent with family and friends. She got to sleep over a few nights without mom and dad. She has playdates and gets to play at the park. That did her good I think. Her world is bigger and her trusted circle of people is wider. That made her braver to open her self up to everyone one else.

I still can't believe Mila is now 17 months old. I know that it's time to let go of my fragile little girl. As Mila grows older, she will discover more things that will make her go Wow. She'd get to meet more people to say Hi to. And every time, she make Mom say Wow too!


Update: as per hubby, Mila says it like Huuwaaaaw!!! 




Surprise Opportunities: My Artista Moment



Most of the best things that happened to me are those that were unexpected. The biggest surprise I got to date were those two lines on a Medic strip. Nine months later, I have Mila Alessandra and life had never been better.

I am the first to admit that I had let too many opportunities pass, specially now that I'm a mother and I am making decisions not just for me but for my family too. But there would never be room for regrets. C'est la vie.

Today though, there's a surprise opportunity I could not say no to. I'm not sure if this is something I can share to everyone already. As soon as it's ready, I will definitely tell you about it. I think, you'd know it even before I can even share. Suffice it to say for now that I was feeling artista the whole day.

When I was about 6 or 7 years old, I tagged along my mom every time she went with her friend who was Ricky Belmonte's Personal Assistant. If you don't know him, then I guess you are young or not from the Philippines. He was Sheryl Cruz' late father. Still doesn't ring a bell? Try Google? Sometimes, Sheryl will 'borrow' her dad's PA and I'd get the chance to go with them to tapings of That's Entertainment's. I met most, if not all of the talents of the show during those times. I loved hanging out in the dressing rooms. Every body was always busy and moving and laughing and having fun. I sometimes get to play with other kids or even take pictures next to my Ates and Kuyas. My classmates were jealous because I was with their idols. It ends there though because I was and never wished to be one of them. I had always been shy and never felt pretty enough so being artista never crossed my mind.

When I went to a meeting earlier today, I never expected the artista treatment they will give us. I thought I was just going to a simple interview. I instead got a makeover and my 15 minutes on the spotlight. As I sit at the edge of the bed with all the cameras focused on me, someone powdering my nose, and another ironing my hair, I can't help but remember the backstage of GMA Broadway Centrum right before the curtains go up. I was excited and anxious. I was nervous and shaking and would have been sweating bullets if not for the air conditioner. I hid that by talking my head off. I wished no one noticed. Never would have I imagined doing what I did earlier. Ask me now what I talked about during the interview and I will never be able to answer you accurately. I'm glad hubs decided to leave the room right before it was my time to shine. At the end, I was all smiles and had a great time.

I love the artista mirror.
The finished look. I rarely wear makeup so even if this is just simple, I feel so pretty.
Forgive me. I can't help but do a quick grocery selfie while waiting for the staff to wrap up.
This talent got hungry so off we went to Ramen Nagi for a quick date



I really can't wait to share what this is all about. I promise, it will make sense once you see what we did today. I know I over exaggerated the artista treatment. It does not matter. I met great ladies. I received free stuff. I had a great date with Hubs afterwards (sayang ang makeup). I went out of my comfort zone. I learned new things and had a once in a lifetime experience. And best of all, I got a great story I can share to Mila. Anyway, I got this surprise opportunity because of her and I hope she will be proud of Mommy.




Recipe: Golden Fried Rice

Good Morning! Let me share this quick recipe for my Golden Fried Rice.



Ingredients: 

3 cups cooked Rico Corn Rice
1 1/2 cups chicken breast fillet
1 medium size carrot
1/4 k baguio beans
1-2 red bell peppers, diced
1-2 onions
6 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
oil

Preparation:

1. See picture below on how to cook Rico Corn Rice.

2. I steam the carrots and baguio beans when I prepare this. You can also boil the vegetables, taking care not to over cook. Cut in bite sized pieces.

3. If you decide to boil the veggies, you can use the same water to boil the chicken breast fillet. Left over chicken roast will work well too. Dice then set aside.

4. Using canola oil, sautee onions and garlic. Add chicken and rice and sautee for a few minutes.

5. Put in the carrots, beans, and red bell pepper. Season to taste. serve warm.

Yield: 2-4 servings




You would notice, this recipe is really simple and I bet you have cooked a similar version a hundred times. What makes this special is the golden corn rice that gives it the vibrant color your eyes can feast on. Before I discovered Rico Corn Rice, I used to do this with plain rice, cooked with turmeric. You can try that too. Just a pinch of turmeric is enough for 3 cups of rice. Add more for a brighter yellow.

I got my first bag of this rice in a booth set up when I attended the opening of Healthway's newest branch. What I love about the corn rice aside from it's golden grains, is how al dente it is. It has small grains and has a nice bite to it. It is also healthier because of its low glycemic index that ensures slow and steady absorption of blood sugar.We have a history of diabetes so this is perfect for the family. Corn rice can be a little bland but with your magic, you can make healthy more special.

For more information about Rico Corn Rice, you can visit yummyhealthy.ph.

Mila loves rice and this colorful Golden Fried Rice really gets her eating.

PS. This is NOT a sponsored post



My 2015 Blog Resolution and I'm Tagging You Too!




Almost two weeks had passed since Jho of There You Jho tagged me to share my 2015 Blog Resolution. I don't really do new year's resolutions because they end up getting forgotten by the 2nd quarter of the year. But I do not back out on challenges so here goes. Instead of resolutions, the list will be more of a blog plan and what you will expect to see as you read more about my life with Mila Alessandra.

Here's my 2015 Blog Resolutions:

1. Post regularly. I'll start with one per week and move up to 4 post or more every week by the end of the year. Being busy is not an excuse. It's just another term for being lazy.
2. More #milaOOTDs. I know lots of my family and friends look at the blog to get updated on Mila and her fashion antics. She is the "baby fashionista" of the family so might as well post those photos I take daily
3. Attend blogging, photography, and writing workshops. This is one area I have a lot to improve on. My average vocabulary and bad grammar should have no space in the blog. I also rely heavily on pictures so better photos are a must.
4. Choose invites and events I go to and post about it immediately.
5. Host more giveaways. What better way to reach out and share the blessing right?
6. Work on an ebook or finalize my free printables. I had been using them for myself and will just have to tweek it so I can share to others too.
7. Get my email list up.
8. Update and optimize the blog design to make it load faster and prettier.
9. Be an intentional blogger. I may have started this blog as my personal diary but had since realized how blogging can influence others. I want to be a positive influence, a good resource, and hopefully an inspiration to new working moms like myself.
10. Thoroughly read blog posts I comment on and share.

On that note, here's 5 Blogs / Bloggers I'd like to read more this year. You may see me commenting on their post and sharing some of my favorites articles from them on my Facebook Page. I've picked them for different reasons. One thing is for sure, I bet you'd also enjoy knowing these ladies.

1. Gemini Dela Cruz and friends of Pinoy Practical Backpackers
2. Emi Paulette Lizada (and baby Aeva) of Aeva And The Water In Her Head
3. Alissa Mags of The Wallflower Secrets
4. Jen Santos (and baby Lez) of The Reluctant Storyteller
5. Michelle Rose Campos of Mommy's Pleasure

If you look at the side, you will see more my blogroll. It'll have the full list of old blogs I've been reading and new ones I'd like to discover more about.

Now I'm tagging you too! You just need to state at least 5 Blog resolutions you would do for 2015 and list down 5 Bloggers you'd like to read more about. Then tag 5 bloggers as well!

1. May Palacpac of Fully Housewifed
2. Emi Paulette Lizada (and baby Aeva) of Aeva And The Water In Her Head
3. Celerhina Aubrey (and baby Skye) of Reigning Still
4. Jen Santos (and baby Lez) of The Reluctant Storyteller
5. Marie Bella-Sanluis of The Flower Duet

I hope all these plans and blog resolution for Mila Stole My Heart gets you excited and make you come back. Do you have other suggestions on how I can make the blog better? Or maybe new blogs I can follow? Link back too if ever you decide on sharing your own 2015 Blog Resolution.

Have fun!




Happy and Thankful at 30

I celebrate my birthday right after Christmas and this year, I had the most awesome kiddie party. For the first time ever, I felt no remorse spending on a party for my self. I was the happiest! Here's the story of how we made this happen even without the budget.

From Hubs' FB Post:
She said, "Dad, on my birthday, i want to give back." I'm proud of you Paulline Joy Flores. Know that i am always here to support you. Happy birthday hon. I love you very much.
My heart melts.

The planning started 4 months ago. I told hubby I want to have a party because it's my 3rd decade of being awesome. He said yes without hesitations. I still had doubts though I'll make it happen.

My birthday is on holiday season and that always mean lots of expenses. Our non-existent extra budget was already set for the new car we planned on getting before the year ends. Even if I get the budget, I won't have time to prepare since it's the busiest season at work too. And who would come? It's the 26th and friends are either out of town or just too tired from the festivities and would rather stay home. That's always a yearly dilemma that's why I rarely have birthday parties since I was a kid. At that point, my party was more of a thought rather than a plan.

I had been going back and forth on this party. One thing I'm sure of, it'll be a children's party. Other details will just come to me, I said. Then a saw a contest on my Facebook News Feed (thanks to Donna of Honey's Haven). I decided to join The Happy Thoughts' Party Kits Giveaway. Part of the rule was to write your theme and reason why you should win. I initially thought of joining for Mila's 2nd birthday party but that's months away. So here's what I decided on:


I wanted a children's party for my inaanak so I won't have to prepare a separate gift for Christmas. The party and the loots will be our gift. Cost effective and more fun. And Mila will get to meet them too. Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys theme, just because I know my parent friends can relate and hey, I love them and it's my birthday.

By mid-November, I thought I will have to cancel the party because of funds constraint. When Joyce of The Happy Thoughts messaged me that I'm one of the winners, I couldn't give her the party details for the invite. I had to ask Joyce for a few days so I can decide. I really wanted this party to happen but how?

To save on the budget, instead of Jollibee, I'll have the party in front of my mom's house so I can also invite the less fortunate kids in the neighborhood. I know most of them would not even have a proper meal for Christmas. I told this to Hubs and he said yes, but with hesitations this time because he knows our financial situation. My mom gladly said yes and agreed to cook for us. My sisters will share a little for the expenses. So I gave Joyce the info and it's a go. I told myself, Bahala na!

Then blessings started pouring in. I got great gifts from Mommy Bloggers Philippines' Christmas Party. I had kilos of Al Dente Pasta and Doña Elena Pasta Sauce. We got Jolly Canned Fruits and Jolly Milk. That's pasta and dessert for the party. Trolli gave out packs of Gummies. I still have sweets left over from Mila's Trick or Treat loot. Candy Buffet anyone? I looked in the cupboard and realized I got tons of mugs and tumblers from giveaways and tokens from blogging events. That got me inspired to look around the house for lots of new unused items. There were even some from Mila's birthday party. I got enough for small game prizes. I was in a roll.

Sweet surprises came in the mail from Mommy Jem of Experience of a Supper Mommy and Mommy Janice of The Roller Coaster Ride. I won their giveaways and got a book and GC for Php 500 worth of Kam Ja Tang and Bukum Bap from Mattna Kamjatang respectively. A bonus from Jem, tucked in between pages of the book was lovely - there were some Sodexho and Chowking GCs. Something I can share for my little party visitors. Even my sister got free GCs from work which she lovingly shared for our party. This party is shaping up well. Thank you to my angels.

A couple of weeks before Christmas, as I check our month's expenses, I know I may still not have enough. I was expecting about 20 to 30 kids. What if we run out of food? What if more kids would come? Can I manage? Another Angel answered that prayer. An IG friend asked me to shop for her at the Revlon Warehouse Sale and whatever I earned from the transaction was more than enough to cover what I needed for the party.

Even my work stars lined up for that day. Our salary for the last day of the year was credited to our account before Christmas. Came with it my tax refund! And even if I can't take the 26th off, I was scheduled to be on support for role the whole day. So even if I was tired from the party, it will be an easy work day for me, and I can grab some snooze (but don't tell my boss).
All party pictures grabbed from family because, I was a busy bee! :)
With that said, the party was a big hit. My family from Cavite came to celebrate. Everyone pitched in. I gave out the invites that morning to my inaanaks. Our baranggay captain lent us chairs and a big tent. Even Mila helped repack the candies we will give out. By 4PM, I had to force kids playing on the streets to join the party. They were too shy. But when the party started, it did not matter if they are wearing their best dress or if they did not have slippers on their feet. Everyone was having a blast. There were 40 kids and the food we prepared was more than enough, yey! Because we started late, we only had time for a couple of games. The rest of the prizes were given out by raffle. I made sure everyone got something. The grand prizes were a P500 SM GC and a basket of groceries good for Media Noche. Everyone was just too giddy and excited for the raffle, onlookers were cheering for the kids! The smile and thank yous of all the kids was more than enough to fill my heart as Mila and I hand out the candy bags and the red envelope each one went home with.

Everyone had left by the time someone remembered I had not blown by birthday candle. It did not matter. I already had my wish come true!



Happiest Christmas Party With The Prettiest Ladies Of Mommy Bloggers Philippines

Before I started blogging, I have maybe two or three mommy friends I can really talk to. Yeah, I got my Moms and Aunties. But talking to a friend with babies around the same age as yours is just different.

When I joined Mommy Bloggers Philippines, I was really hesitant to share myself and was more of a lurker. I am a newbie Mommy. I'm a good Mom to Mila but I'm not sure if what I know and do is good enough for the mommy experts in the group. I am a newbie Blogger too. Again, what do I know? We're talking about great established bloggers who had been in the industry for a while. In fact, they are my resource when I was still pregnant, trying to grasp the idea of motherhood. So what am I to share?
Then I started joining blogger activities and events. I participated in blog supports and followed the stories of all the beautiful ladies in this group. My world suddenly expanded. I learned about new things and was able to confidently share what I know, and more importantly, what I don't know. It does not matter because each one is very willing to help out with no judgement. We may be Mommies and Bloggers, but we are more than that. We are Wives, Bakers, Entrepreneurs, Fashionistas, Techies, and a whole lot more! Just look at the diverse blogging niche that we have in the MBP Community.

MBP's first major activity was the Halloween Party. My post about it had been gathering dust in my drafts. I think I'm saving it for next year? I hope not. I have to start working on my blogging schedule. But I digress.

As I was saying, the Halloween party was successful, albeit some small hiccups. It was well attended but I was not really able to bond with my co-mommies. Who could when you have babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers, and/or tweens running around, trying to grab your attention.

So when the invite was posted for the first ever Christmas Party of MBP, I made sure I'll be there. It does not matter if I'll be sleepless since it'll be in between my work shifts. I want to be able to know these amazing mommas some more. Chika with these ladies non-stop. And I did not regret going!

The MBP Winter Wonderland Christmas Party 2014 was held at Spaces by Babyland last Friday. I love that the venue is very easy to find. The space was just cozy enough for us with a lot of space to move around but still feel very intimate. I love the blues and whites and silvers all over.

MBP Winter Wonderland Christmas Party 2014

I'm not sure why I expected that I'll just be sitting down and wait for the program to start. With these crazy mommies, it was a wonderful chaos. Of course, the first thing we did was to start the chika. Mommies Que, Aubrey, Jen and Bave, who we missed, and me had a task to conquer the photobooth (hangover from a previous event), and we did! We finally managed to fit in the frame! Thanks to Yeah, Shoot Photobooth. I swear they have the best quality print outs I've seen!

MBP Winter Wonderland Christmas Party 2014
Que, Jen, Rackell (new photobooth recruit), Paulline, Aubrey
The program started a little after 1PM. We had an awesome Ice Breaker and I couldn't stop myself from posting a Facebook status on how hard Speed Dating is! The 20 questions task got us to know a little more about each other and it was loud and fun. I skipped lunch so I was a hungry already by the time it was time to eat. I'm glad I made tummy space. We actually had four, yes that's 4 caterers. All of them are absolutely wonderful.

I started with Shekinah Dishes because they are the closest to where I was seated. I normally would not get Korean Beef because I find it either too sweet or salty. This one is just perfect and is now my favorite. A little on the spicy side which is how I want my food. Next stop was The Posh Caterer. When they say they cater in style, they really do. I love their table setup and food presentation. I enjoyed the lasagna and but my favorite was the perfectly balanced Mango Crepe - tangy and sweet and creamy. I had to go back for seconds. The Love Desserts buffet table had been calling my attention since I got in the room. Imagine at least 10 kinds of sweets and pastries and cakes. I had been avoiding sweet treats for 30 days and I couldn't help but indulge. I had to have at least one bite of each. I was too full but that did not stop me from trying out the nachos and buritos from Kubiertos. What can I say? They are all so lovely!

MBP Winter Wonderland Christmas Party 2014
I  barely had food pics because I was too busy eating and talking. :)
To make our afternoon bonding a lot more fun, generous sponsors had provided us gifts to be raffled off. If you have noticed my previous #ThankfulThursday posts, I had been so lucky on raffles and giveaways the past couple of months, I was hoping to keep my lucky streak going. My eyes are on the Sharp LED TV since ours had been begging for replacement. The Acer Tablet is great too but it was the first to be given away and Mommy Jingke got it. The mommies were really into this and we had great fun as each name was called to get their prize from Glorietta, The Cream Factory, Renuzit, or Lazada. Then only about 13 mommies were left uncalled and the only item left is the TV from Abenson. Oh no, I thought I'd go home empty handed. Then they changed the rule - last man lady standing, the name that does not get picked wins. Did I just mention my name don't get picked in raffle draws right? That's why I won! Whoo hoo! I got my earliest Christmas / Birthday gift!

MBP Winter Wonderland Christmas Party 2014
See my happy face? Claimed the TV day after the paty. Decided to open it on my birthday. Thanks again MBP and Abenson
Everyone still went home as winners. Each one received a big bag of goodies from Fly Ace, Nailaholics, Teleserv, Zomato, Trolli, Triumph, and Nature Essentials. Even on our way home, the happiness did not stop. Mommy Lally and Jho shared an Uber ride with me and we had extended chika minutes. That got us planning a meet up for mommy bonding using our Nail and Hand Spa GC from Nailaholics, playdates and a picnic, and much more. I also love the bag I got from Mommy Nadia for our exchange gift, it's my go to bag right now! It says: Dream Big!

MBP Winter Wonderland Christmas Party 2014
photo credit: Mommy Bloggers Philippines
I told you, MBP members are just too fun. These ladies are not just blank faces whose blogs I read for guidance and inspiration. They are now friends who I grow with, as a blogger, mom, and woman. Mommy Bloggers Philippines for me is not just an online group but a community I'm happy to be part off!

MBP Winter Wonderland Christmas Party 2014
photo credit: Mommy Joy Gurtiza
Here's a video of the party made by Mommy Joy. Just see how much fun we had! Until next party!








Fever: When To Give A Hot Or Cold Sponge Bath?

Fever: When To Give A Hot Or Cold Sponge Bath


We know at least 10 babies and kids that got sick this holiday season. When I went to the pharmacy to get some paracetamol for my sick Mila, there were about 7 other moms getting the same for their feverish child. We went to the ER when we noticed some rashes on Mila's face and we were sent to the isolation room. They were concerned she may spread some virus to the 5 other toddlers at the pedia ER. That's one too many sick kid.

I think fluctuating temperature is causing kids to get sick. Not to mention that the new year festivities had saturated the air with pollutants. If the past few years would be any indication, it will just get colder until February. I'm wishing that there will be less kids getting sick. It's just so heartbreaking.

We were lucky that Mila's fever did not last long and was nothing serious. I knew it will pass. I prayed and claimed that she will get better in no time, and she did. But during the 3 days she had high temperature, I struggled to get her comfortable. It did not seem like she was in pain but I knew she was hot and irritable. On healthier days, that will mean it's time for a bath. I was not sure a bath is safe for fever.
when to give a hot or cold sponge bath for fever

I asked a friend nurse what to do aside from giving her medicine. She said I should give Mila a Cold Sponge Bath. When we were at the hospital, the doctor said it should be a Hot Sponge Bath instead. I asked Mila's pedia and she said to damp ice cold towel on the hottest part of her body which is what we were doing. Babycenter said tepid bath is best. These are all correct depending on the situation.

To avoid confusion, here's a quick guide on When to Give a Hot or Cold Sponge Bath for Fever

HOT SPONGE BATH


Hot sponge bath is recommended for kids with high-grade fever but with cold feet and hands. Use water that is as hot as possible without burning the skin, about 36 to 44°C. Make sure that the room is enclosed so there's no draft. You can cover the baby with a light towel or blanket if it's too cold. Rub the sponge on the face, ears, and neck. This is done quickly to get the blood to circulate properly. Immediate follow with another towel to dry, to prevent chilling. Do the same with the arms, chest, tummy, legs, feet and back, making sure you thoroughly dry each part before proceeding.

COLD SPONGE BATH


Cold sponge bath (15 to 24°C) is recommended for feverish kids who are hot to the touch. You can add ice to the water if the skin is too hot. The procedure is the same as the hot sponge bath. It is important to make sure you prevent chilling because that will cause the body temperature to rise further. Using alcohol on sponge baths are not recommended anymore because it can cause a sudden drop in temperature which can be dangerous for babies. The hot skin causes some moisture to evaporate and will aid in cooling the body. This is just like when you sweat after exercising, it feels refreshing as the sweat dries off. Repeat the procedure 30 minutes after giving a dose of antipyretic medications (usually 4 to 6 hours in between). In between sponge baths, you can use a cold compress. Apply to the forehead, nape, armpits, and groin.

TEPID BATH


Tepid sponge bath uses water that is just slightly lower than the body's normal temp (30 to 33°C). If your baby had develop flush color due to a low-grade fever, has warm and moist skin, accompanied by headache, tepid bath is recommended. This provides a soothing effect and is also used for those with anxiety, insomnia, and menstrual cramps so mommies will benefit from this too.  Immerse your baby up to the neck in a tub with tepid water. Keep checking the water temperature and ensure that the room is totally enclosed to avoid draft. Soak for about 15 minutes or longer, depending on the child's age and if she likes the bath. Use a large towel to cover and dry off.


BONUS: You can take a tepid bath with your child if you have a large bath tub. Lay your baby against your chest so she will be more comfortable and sing a lullaby. This will not only help lower her temperature and make her comfortable, it will also help ease your anxiety.