November 30, 2013

Top 5 Apps I Can't Live Without

Okay, that's a hyperbole. Of course, I can live without these apps. Only I'm not sure if I would want to! My phone is a low-end Android phone (I just have to say low-end), but I enjoy it and make the most out of it. Here are my five most favorite and most used apps:

5. Quick Note

As an impulsive writer and list-taker, a note app is a must-have in my phone. Quick Note must be the nth notetaking app that I've downloaded but so far, it's the best. Surface-wise, it is clean and easy to navigate. The fontface is visually-pleasing and readable. It's also light and doesn't take up too much space in my low-tech Android phone.

What I like here is that I'm able to draft a post in my downtime, while Yuri is sleeping, or before I sleep.

PS: I'm typing out this entry on Quick Note, which I will just share to my Google mail account.

4. Pocket

One of the biggest eaters of my time is reading. Because I work online, I'm very open to temptations of interesting blog posts and articles.

But instead of wasting my time reading, I just click on the Save-to-Pocket plugin of my Chrome browser. It is automatically saved in the Pocket app of my phone. Then, I can read as much as I like before sleeping.

By doing this, I will not miss out on informative and interesting reads without sacrificing worktime. The articles saved inside my Pocket app are usually about the following topics: motherhood and parenting, recipes, budgeting, trivia, and home & living.

3. BPI Express Mobile

I'm a loyal BPI account holder. Even though I only have an ATM account, I like BPI because of the services they offer to make my life more convenient.

For example, I receive my monthly salary via BPI. I can easily check my account using the app. When I need to pay the internet bill, I just transfer the amount using the app. I can also transfer money to other BPI users, which make online shopping hassle-free. To this day, I only buy stuff from sellers who have BPI accounts! (I learned my lesson when I got scammed.)

2. MoBill Budget

November 29, 2013

Finance Friday: Fun and Frugal November Finds!

This post kinda hits two politicians birds with one stone. I haven't done both a Finance Friday and Monthly Finds post since forever! So, apparently, I mixed them into one post since November was all about finding fun but affordable finds. This is fit for a Finance Friday post because I managed to find affordable alternatives to usual finds - which is something we must all strive to do.

Please remind me to practice what I preach. :-P

Anyway, I haven't bought a single thing for myself for so long, but I find that perfectly fine. To be honest, I get bored when I browse websites for women-stuff. Instead, I always, always, find myself navigating to the babies and toddlers websites and sections. I don't follow online shops for women's fashion anymore; I only get interested in baby-and-toddler stuff shops.

So it's not a surprise when everything I bought for this month (and the past months, as well) are for Yuri. Well, you can't blame me, can you? Toddler-stuff are much more fun to buy than women-stuff! Anyway, here are what I got for the month:

1. Milk

Okay, sorry for the boring first entries. I promise the more interesting stuff are below. Anyway, one reason I got addicted to reading mommy and parenting blogs is that I can easily get unsolicited tips on what to use for babies. I read that when the baby turns 1, babies can actually go straight to reading regular milk. Fresh milk is better than powdered milk, so I've been buying fresh milk for Yuri for months now. (We're still breastfeeding.)

Anyway, I have been buying Oishi Oaties milk regularly, but I want to try something else because that brand is kinda sweet. I want to get Yuri used to the taste of regular fresh milk, so I tried Cowhead. It tastes good like regular fresh milk does, and the best part about it is the pull-tab! I'm ensured that the milk is really fresh and not tampered.

Rating: Hit
Price: Around P70 or P80 

2. Juice
I have also been regularly buying fresh juices for Yuri since he was around 15 months old. I always try different kinds of juices, but I always see to it that they are all-natural and sugar-free.

I saw this Del Monte juice brand in SM a couple of weeks ago and was astounded that it was so cheap. I took one, of course. The problem is that I forgot to check its ingredients. At home, I saw that it was not sugar-free. Boohoo. Yuri still drank it, but I have to mix it with more water than the usual. Also, admittedly, it tastes better than the sugar-free juices. Duh? :-P

Rating: Miss
Price: P62

3. Itch Cream

Since Yuri got attacked by insects at home (will be talking about this in a future post) and got so bothered by his itchy bites (poor boy), I was on the active lookout for a balm that would ease and even cure his insect bites. After research, I decided that the best option would still be GIGA (our insect repellant is GIGA) since a GIGA stall was conveniently situated in SM Lanang.

I was pleased to know that it smells mild and does not sting at all. In fact, it reminds me of lana (Bisaya readers will know this). More importantly, Yuri liked it when I apply the balm on his itches, some of which had cuts on them na. After a day of using it, I was able to see immediate effects! I will review this in a separate post soon.

Rating: Hit!
Price: P150

4. Detergent
Since we ran out of our usual laundry detergent for Yuri, I began scouring the web (again!) for a better replacement. We've been using Breeze Gold, and while it's okay, I find that Yuri's clothes become too stiff. Of course, a natural option would be better.

I have already ordered from Human ❤ Nature before, but I've never tried their detergent yet, so I gave it a try. This didn't have a scent, as expected, but Yuri's clothes feel a lot softer now!

Rating: Hit!
Price: P199

5. Dish Cleaner
I actually first tried this during my first Human ❤ Nature loot, and since I was pleased with it, I ordered a bigger bottle together with the detergent. To read a more complete review, just head over to this link.

Rating: Hit
Price: P169.75

6. Disposable Bibs

I didn't really need disposable bibs because we have real bibs, but when I saw this pack on sale at SM Lanang (again), I got really curious. I wanted to open a pack so that I will know the material used for the bibs, but the pack wasn't resealable so it couldn't be opened at the store. I bought one anyway.

At home, I opened the pack and saw that the bibs were made of light and flimsy material. In hindsight, I should have known! Haha! Anyway, clueless me was expecting waterproof bibs and these obviously aren't. Still, they could be handy in case I forget to bring a bib.

Rating: Miss
Price: P60+ for a pack of 6

7. Board Books!
Ah, my current Yuri-related obsession: books! I bought these two after our most recent appointment with our pedia (see post here). I have bought two more books before, and I just had to add two more to our growing collection. As always, I have no complaint with these Cupcake books. The stories are engaging, the illustrations are beautiful, and the material is sturdy!

Rating: Hit (of course!)
Price: P70 (regular price), but one of them, the "Dazzle Duckling" book, was only P45!

8. Suspenders

November 28, 2013

All Sorts of Things Come in Threes

I have been faithfully blogging 6 times a week since last month - well, until yesterday. I was just too stressed because I had my personal Mercury retrograde.

Yes, I really did check whether we're having the Mercury retrograde. Not. Turns out it's just me and my rotten luck.

So what's it about Mercury retrograde and bad luck coming in threes? Look at this photo first:

Images from,, and
By now, you probably have a good idea of what happened yesterday. But since I love dwelling in my problems (kidding), I will tell you in detail what happened.

At 8 am, Yuri finished the last serving of his papaya smoothie. I had a couple of mangoes and cups of yogurt, so it's time to make a fresh batch. I already sliced the mangoes and poured them and the yogurt into the blender, and they didn't blend. The frigging blender wouldn't work. And it was working perfectly just the day before!

The bad thing is that while I bought it October of last year, I only got to use it recently. Inevitably, instead of a smoothie, Yuri has a "fruit salad" now. Which is fine. I could live with that, so I proceeded to work.

At around 10:30 am, I noticed that my mouse was not highlighting the words I meant to highlight. Worse, it was highlighting words I didn't meant to highlight. Even worse than that, the mouse was cutting and pasting on its own! It minimized the essay I was reviewing and kept opening a new window!

In other words, nagkaroon ng sariling buhay ang mouse ko. Nakakaloka! And it was working fine minutes ago!

I persevered working despite the difficulty of not having a mouse. Then, before lunch time, my mother summoned me into her "office."

November 26, 2013

Yuri is 20!

Aaah, Yuri is 20 months old today! He still weighs 10.2 kilograms or 22 pounds, and he's 82 centimeters or more than 32 inches long or 2.7 feet. He sleeps on an average of 13 hours a day and eats close to nothing. Joke! (Okay, so I'm only half-joking.)
From our mini-photoshoot 2 weeks ago
This means it has been 20 months of motherhood for me (not counting the 9 hellish months of pregnancy). Wow, 20! Considering that I only lasted one month and two months in my first two jobs, respectively, this says a lot! I can't entirely welcome this new milestone with relief knowing that certain tasks are imminent. Yes, potty-training, I'm looking at you!

But, hey, let's cross the bridge when we get there. Right now, I feel so happy looking at my free-spirited little boy who gets more independent everyday. Honestly, the last month has been my favorite. I love seeing Yuri interacting with us more and more!
Mini-lessons in the grocery (see post here)
Finally (finally!), Yuri has learned to call me mama! Consistently! Yay! After months of calling me dede, I finally have get proper endearment haha!

Yuri also knows his name na! Here's one of my (our) favorite activities at home:
Me (pointing to his lolo): Sino yan?
Yuri: Yayu!
Me (pointing to his lola): Sino yan?
Yuri: Iya!
Me (pointing to his tita): Sino yan?
Yuri: Dinda!
Me (pointing to myself): Eh sino ako?
Yuri: Mama!
Me (pointing to Yuri): Eh ikaw, sino ka?
Yuri (smiling proudly with both hands pointed to himself): SURI!
Oh diba, Suri Cruise ang peg. Sige na nga! Okay na yun! :D
This is the best I could do to capture his "SURI" motions! Mad photographer skillzzz!
As always, there are a lot of new additions to his words. Verbal diarrhea kung verbal diarrhea. Currently, he has more or less 100 words na, which, I think, is quite a lot for a boy. (He had 60+ words as of last month.) I attribute that to the talkative (read: noisy) people he's surrounded by. I'm not even kidding! We only shut up when Yuri has to have his shut-eye hahaha. This month, here are his new words:

Chocolate - tetetete
Apple - apu
Milk - mam
Skyflakes - asfe
Tiger Biscuits - ayde

Elephant - fant
Crocodile - tatatata 
Mouse - maw
Mice - mis (Nalito na si Yuri because I teach him "mouse" while his yaya teaches him "mice")
Horse - hos
Fish - sis
Ant - ans (Matagal na to, nakalimutan ko lang i-lista)
Bee - bee
Rabbit - sassy (Long story, which begins with how my sister has a ratty old stuffed rabbit named Sassy.)
Owl - ow
Bird - Dati ti ito, naging toytoy!
Da - duck

You might not see it clearly (Dinda also has mad photographer skilzzz), but Yuri had
just discovered his reflection on his spoon!

People/Body Parts
Person - tayo (tao)
Bata - bata
Penis (sorry!) - tintin
Nose - mow
Mama - Mama!
Yuri - Suri
Shadow - Siyow

Bike - bayi
Air - angi 
Water - toyi
Motorcycle - ator
Chair - teyr
Star - stow
Train - teyn / toto (After Thomas)
Tissue - ah-shus (favorite word!)
Lights - ays
Book - book
Ball - ball
Powder - bubos
Table - eybol
Toys - toys
Mas - Christmas tree, decors, etc.
Toothbrush - sheshe

One - wam
(He first learned how to say "two" last month.)
Three - tuwi
Four - fo
Six - sis
Nine - nay
(Of course, he doesn't understand the concept of numbers yet.)
*Square - ser
*Circle - si

Random Expressions
Cute - toot! (with feelings)
Sleep - tuyog
Get - kuwin
Bye - buh-bye!
Cold - yamig!
Bad - baw?
Gentle - enten
Promise - asi
Broken - siya
Itchy - ati
Play - pey
Lowbat (as in the camera) - oba

Pretending to be asleep...
Aside from learning new words, he has also improved his pronunciation. For example, last month, he says "so" for song. Now, it sounds like "song" na. Good job, little boy! Of course, I have to commend his yaya for always teaching him, too!

November 25, 2013

What I Overheard from the Weekend

I have plenty of overheard lines during the weekends because that's when everybody is at home. Well, most of the time. This time, naisipan kong i-lista para maipost. Here are the lines I overheard from the past weekend:

Naughty Kids

My 11-year old sister seriously playing with Yuri:

Two rabbits. One girl. One boy. Loving each other. In the middle of the night.
Ha? Ano daw?!

Di bale sintunado, basta tama ang lyrics mo

While playing with Yuri and listening to the radio, Honey always bursts out singing. This time, I had to keep myself from laughing:

All I wanted was to break your walls; All you ever did was wreck me; Yeah, you, rikitik me!
At naging comedy bigla ang kanta ni Miley.

Di bale sintunado, basta tama ang lyrics mo part II
Honey: This girl's on the fiiiire!
Good luck, girl!

What Yuri thinks of me
Yuri (points to his lolo): Yayu!
(Points to his lola): Iya!
(Points to his tita): Dinda!

(Points to me): Dede!

What Yuri thinks of Yayu
Yuri: (points to photo of gorilla) Yayu!

What Yuri thinks of dede
Yuri facing my boob AKA dede: Cat!

I don't know why he calls my boobs "cat"! Weird kid. There was also a time when before breastfeeding, he mumbled gibberish, made an attempt to make the sign of the cross (the parentals are Catholic) before he suckled! Okay ka din, Yuri!

Old times, good times

In Facebook, an old classmate of mine suddenly sent me a message. He said the usual kamusta and commented that Yuri was very cute daw. Of course, I was flattered but confused because we don't really talk. After a while, he said:

Would you like to double your income?

Panalo ka, classmate! If you happen to read this, peace! By the way, this reminds me of a WORSE experience from the recent past.

On water and clean jokes

November 23, 2013

Toddler-Approved: Peanut-Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

I have two jars of peanut butter, a bag of oats, and, of course, milk. We always have fresh milk. I was getting tired of preparing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, so I scoured Google for easy-to-do (as usual!) recipes that use peanut butter, oatmeal, and milk. I was able to find several recipes, but they required more ingredients than what I like to use. Finally, I saw this 3-minute recipe from Averie Cooks.

Her recipe's primary ingredients are peanut butter, chocolate chips, oats, and milk. Perfect! The optional ingredients include vanilla extract, sweetener, and dry add-ons (i.e. raisins and coconut flakes). I originally planned to add vanilla extract and raisins, but I decided against it so that I know how the recipe tastes like plain. To cut the long story short, here are the ingredients I used:

Place the chocolate chips, milk, and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl and melt them together in the microwave. If you don't like using the microwave, you can melt these in a saucepan. 

We only have very few chocolate chips left in the fridge, so the mixture isn't as chocolatey. I did provide more peanut-butter. Actually, I didn't follow the recipe for the amount of ingredients. I guess it's up to you on how much you want to use.

After melting milk, peanut butter, and chocolate together, it would form a paste like this.

Mix the oats and your optional dry ingredients into the paste. Like what is said in Averie Cooks, the mixture should be fairly dry, so you need to add more oats as necessary.

Averie's recipe called for old-fashioned or rolled oats, but I didn't have any, so I just used ordinary instant oats.

Press the mixture in a container and place it inside the fridge. 

After the mixture has hardened, slice them any way you want. You can also eat the entire piece by yourself! :-) 

Sayang, I didn't get to take a photo of Yuri eating the bars. That's because by the time I remembered to fetch the camera, malapit ng maubos ang bars! Also, my dad who isn't fond of eating sweets found the bars yummy. Yes, it's delicious! Delicious + easy + nutritious = toddler and mommy approved!

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November 22, 2013

Bakuna + Book Loot Thursday

Yesterday, we went to our pedia to have Yuri's nth shot. I'm glad to say that there's only one more vaccination we need to have (and pay for) this year, and we're off the hook until Yuri turns 4! Yay!

A big shoutout to Doc Amelia Morata-Lee who just discovered my blog! #thisisembarassing :-P

Here's Yuri before leaving the house:

Segue: I read a thread in the Breastfeeding Pinays Group about delaying vaccinations. Actually, a former schoolmate began the thread. The reason, perhaps, for delaying (or not at all getting) vaccinations is the possible link to autism. I respect the decision. If I were born into a family with the same principles, I would have done the same. However, we were born into families who believe in bakuna. I never knew anyone who developed illnesses due to vaccinations. Also, the link to autism is not proven. On a personal level, I vigilantly bring Yuri to all his bakuna schedules because Yuri was born in the NICU with needles and dextroses (how do you pluralize dextrose?) attached to his newborn feet and arms. I never want to see that sight again, so I wanted to at least gain control over Yuri's health, and immunizations provided me with that feeling of control. The bottom line is that we have different views, and this is mine.

Anyway, enough of the serious talk! Let's move on to the lighter things in life AKA Yuri's OOTD!
Shirt: Crib Couture, Shorts: KID Basix, Suspenders: SM Department Store, Shoes: Children's Place

The weather was pretty hot that morning, so I went for shorts. Also, it's been a long time since Yuri wore shorts. But actually, the realest reason is that they look best in suspenders. :-P

Did you notice na paulit2 lang shoes ni Yuri? He's outgrown all the rest! Oh well, no new shoes muna until he's outgrown his 2 pairs mwahahaha!

So anyway, when we arrived at the clinic, Doc said she saw Yuri's photo wearing only diapers. Haha! Then, she mentioned that she discovered my blog. Ayayay! Good thing I only raved about her here! Seriously, though, I like Dov Amy because I can ask her about anything and everything, which is why our clinic visits never end in just one hour.

Doc was in the other room, watching Be Careful with My Heart. Teehee peace, doc! (I look every inch the Haggardo Versoza mom. My excuse is that I just came from work.)

Another reason why I like clinic visits is the loot we get to take home teehee:
Lotsa Ceelin and Cherifer vitamins!

I swear, I really planned to buy Yuri Cherifer vitamins last Sunday. Only I backed out in the last minute because I thought we needed to use up the Ceelin vitamins at home first (still c/o Doc!). However, I don't need to buy anymore! Thank you, fairy godmother! Also, pwede pala syang isabay sa Ceelin haha! #ignoramus

She also gave Yuri another, bigger activity book! Another addition to our "library" hehe.

This time, it's a sticker book!

With texture pages, too, which is my favorite feature:

At the mall, I also bought Yuri two more boardbooks to add to his growing collection. I can't help it when they're only 79 pezoz:

A pleasant surprise: One of the books only cost P45! Sayang there was only one of this in National Bookstore.

After doing the groceries (when Mama and I are together, a quick I-just-need-to-buy-diapers turns into full grocery shopping), Mama had to return to the bookstore for some sticker paper. Meanwhile, Yuri and I hung around the magazine stand:

On the level of Disney Junior magazines:

Getting curious of the Disney Princesses:

If you notice the whitish area on the lower left of the photos, it's because may powder pala on the lens. Iisa lang ang salarin. Nakakaloka. Anyway, it's clean now. :-)

And that concludes our quick dayout! I just realized I forgot to take a photo of Yuri's band-aid. The one given by Doc is purple with yellow stars. Sayang! :-(

Anyway, have a happy weekend!

PS: This post is supposed to be published hours earlier, pero ang bagal ng internet! Grr!

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