Thursday, June 30, 2011

playground style

A few weeks ago a lady approached me at the playground:
lady: How old is your little boy?
me: He's 2.
lady: He's so cute.
me: Oh, thanks!
lady: And you look so put together. I wish I was good in fashion.
me: Oh, thank you! (blush)

I was so flattered but before I could say anything else she had to go and run after her kid. And that was all because I was wearing purple flats and a pink trench at the playground. The trench I wore not for anything else but because it was really cool that evening.

So what's the point of telling you this story? Nothing really except to say that wearing purple flats to the playground is chic. Haha! No, but seriously, fellow moms, just because we're running after our kids doesn't mean we should dress up in trainers and sweats all the time. And just because our days are mostly spent in the car driving around our kids from one activtiy to the next, doesn't mean no one is going to notice if we don't get out of our pajamas. Well, yeah, no one would really tell you in your face. But wouldn't you want to be complimented for looking put together instead?

Now, this is the part where I show you what a wore to a playdate this week. All this talk just to have an excuse to show you my outfit.

I've been thinking about being more deliberate in showing playtime-appropriate outfits that are practical and stylish. What do you think?

Anyway, have a wonderful weekend, bunnies!

toddler-approved recipes: guilt-free banana muffins

I couldn't believe my luck when I chanced upon a banana muffin recipe sans the butter. I kid you not. I did a double take just to make sure I read it right. I did! So, I'm going to do what feels right and share it with you. Here's the recipe with some tweaks here and there.

Guilt-free Banana Muffins

4 very ripe bananas

2 eggs

1/4 cup skim milk

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon


Mix together eggs, mashed bananas, sugar, milk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Fold in the dry ingredients with the banana mixture. Pour into muffin cups and bake for 20-25 mins at 350f (or 175c). Makes around 10-11 muffins.

The muffins came out really moist and soft but not too sweet. You can add more sugar and bananas if you wish. The Mister found it a tad bland for his taste so he tried eating it with a dallop of banana yogurt and it was genius! It looked like icing on a cupcake and it gave the muffin a whole new flavor dimension. You should really to try it for yourself.

After an afternoon of swimming and water play, the little man was famished and devoured a giant banana muffin in minutes. But no worries, it was as healthy as could be.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


My current favorite piece of clothing is my cobalt midi which I haven't really worn yet as I am waiting for this weekend to debut it. I've already thought of several ways to wear it though as you can see from my amateur attempt at styling.

Can you help me pick an ensemble for our 4th of July BBQ party? please click on the photo to enlarge

Monday, June 27, 2011

discovering pandora

Hello, bunnies! I just wanted to share with you a recent discovery. Have you heard of Pandora Radio? I was just recently acquainted with it and it's amazing! It's an oline radio that lets you personalize the music you want to listen to. You just type in your favorite artist or song and it will create a station that will play music that is similar to what you like. It will even give you recommendations on artists or songs that you might be interested in. A really great way to explore different sounds and discover new music.

Today I typed Laurie Berkner in Pandora and it gave me a great selection of kindie rock songs that Bud and I enjoyed listening to the whole afternoon. It's such a welcome change from the usual nursery ryhmes and Barney songs that we listen to. Kindie rock is a playful combination of intelligent lyrics and sophisticated harmonies - just how I like my music.

I'm really excited about Pandora. Just one click and we can introduce and expose our little ones to different types of music. Not to mention, it's FREE!

What songs have you been listening to lately?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

kid-friendly furniture

How clever is this stacking throne?

I can imagine so many practical uses for this - as a book shelf, drawing table or just for extra seats. Plus of course, endless play for Bud.

What about this TAble?

Once there was one...

and now there are two!
Stack them up or put them side by side. Perfect for craft time and playdates.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

the midi skirt

In my opinion the midi is the perfect chic mommy skirt this summer. It's long enough so you can move around in the playground with ease but short enough so you don't trip on it while climbing up the slide.

images courtesy of thesimplyluxuriouslife and fashiontakesflight

Monday, June 20, 2011

weekend roundup

How was your weekend, bunnies?

Last Saturday, the boys and I took a chance and headed over to 5-8 Club, home of the original Juicy Lucy, Minnesota's version of the ultimate cheese burger. A 1/2 pound burger with the cheese inside the beef patty. It's obscenely good it was even featured in Travel Channel's Man vs. Food. We were lucky we got there just in time to get a table before the line at the door started. By the time we were done, the line was like 30 people deep. In case you were wondering, yes, I did finish my Juicy Lucy! I surprised even myself!

We celebrated father's day at the Stone Arch Art Festival in Minneapolis along with the hipsters and the hippies. The riverfront district was brimming with life with over 250 featured artists and artisans, non-stop live musical performances and a smorgasbord of food stalls. It had all the ingredients for creating a memorable family outing.

I would say our weekend was just perfect.

photos courtesy of dressedtoat

Friday, June 17, 2011

happy weekend!

What are your plans for the weekend, Bunnies? If you have some free time, please do drop by A Mischmashed Life to read my very first guest post about my recipe for an easy breezy motherhood.

And remember....

Treat yourself this weekend, you deserve it!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

i am my father's daughter

I realized I haven't written anything for the past week. I still find it difficult to sort through my thoughts with the nostalgia still looming over me. I've been better though. No more tears, just happy memories. For those of you wondering what I am talking about, my family came to visit and it will be almost two weeks since they left.

Everyday, I think about my parents and how grateful I am for them. Just thinking about them makes me tear up. I realized it's father's day on Sunday so I think it would be timely for me to write about my papa.

My papa is a simple man. He came from humble beginnings. And even now that he has accomplished so much and achieved what he could only dream of before, he remains grounded and is the most down to earth person I know. I remember growing up, he was not the type who spoiled us with toys, instead he lavished us with amazing stories of his childhood. He didn't do baby talk with us, instead he talked to us like adults and let us speak our minds. He gave us his time and his attention. Too much attention I thought when I was younger. He taught us that we needed to work hard for what we wanted and that saving money was just as important. He always says, it's not enough that you earn money, you also have to be smart about spending it and learn to save.

My papa is one of the most generous people I know. He always shares what he has. Not just his money but also his time, his wisdom and even his sense of humor. He's not the type to shop for gifts and he never buys anything (except maybe cars and real estate ) and so he never really gave us material presents. But he was never short of showering us with his "words of wisdom" . One of his greatest gifts and most important lesson he taught me that I find practical to this day is, it's hard to wait for other people to change but you have the ability to change yourself and make things better. This is my great secret for staying happily married too.

We don't always agree on things but we agree to disagree. One thing we have in common is our fondness for watching movies. Back when we still lived in Manila, the Mister and I would visit my parents' house at least three times a week for a movie night with papa. While they were here this summer, we did movie night almost every night. My papa has a thing for remembering lines from movies and using them when he gives his "talks". Our top three favorite movies to watch together: 1. Aga and Leah's Sana'y Maulit Muli 2. Meet Joe Black 3. Notting Hill. It's funny how much our lives have been influenced by fictional movie characters.

My papa is also a prayerful man. In his speech during our wedding, he said that he had come to terms with the fact that he would eventually hand me over to another man and so he always prayed to God to send me a wise and loving man. And because my father is a good man, God answered his prayer and sent me the Mister. Another one of my father's best gifts to me.

Papa was such a role model and he had big shoes to fill. I'm grateful that I found all the admirable qualities of my papa in the Mister. Like my papa, the Mister is smart, generous, simple, hardworking, has a wonderful sense of humor and is an amazing father.

Like a typical male, my papa is not very vocal about his emotions but he has his way of "telling" us he loves us. While they were here, he carried around a bottle of virgin coconut oil in his pocket at all times. It's his cure all oil, one of his few favored possesions. He puts in in his hair, his face, his red itchy spots and his sore muscles. When they went home, I was surprised to see that little bottle quarter-full still in our bathroom. He left it. When I talked to him on the phone he said he left it for Bud. He knew Bud got a lot of scratches and bruises from playing so he said I should use it to heal Bud's bumps. Just remembering it makes me teary eyed.

I was not always the easiest daughter but when I got married I found a new appreciation for my parents. When I became a mother, I was even more grateful for them. My papa has always been a great father but now he is an even more inspiring grandpa. I love my papa to pieces.

So here's to my papa and the Mister, my two favorite fathers in the world! Happy Father's Day! Cheers!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Reunions with loved ones are always bittersweet. I'm really grateful for the four weeks that we spent with my parents and the few days that my brother and SIL shared with us. To top it off, there was even a bonus visit from one of my best friends just before my parents arrived. I am truly lucky! But I still can't help having that feeling of longing and nostalgia in the pit of my stomach everytime I remember how far away they are from me now.

the grandparents with their favorite grandson

touring the city with my brother

savoring the scenery with my sister-in-law

photo op with my bestie at the curbside check-in

It wasn't so long ago when my whole world revoled around my parents, brothers and my best friends. And now, we're in totally opposite time zones. Ah, such is life....

our only complete family photo for this holiday
(missing in the photo are my youngest brother and my 3 y.o. niece)

Don't get me wrong. I love my life now. I'm blessed that I get to spend everyday with my two favorite people in the world! And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, June 3, 2011

memorial day

The weather has been very pleasant this week and we were able to spend memorial day at our favorite Lake Harriet basking in the sun and enjoying the cool breeze (while eating ice cream). While the grandparents were enjoying our little picnic, the little man was befriending and petting all the dogs in the park.

While we were walking around, the little boss spotted the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line and wanted to get on board so we all ended up riding the historic trolley. Not bad for $2 per head. Bud thought he was on a Thomas train.

After an afternoon of ice cream and trolley rides, we capped off the day with a meat-feast at home. The mister was all too happy to grill and spend the rest of the night outdoor.


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