April 30, 2014

Overheard from the Daycare Center that was our House

Okay, our house is no daycare center, but it surely looks like one these summer days!

The days are longer during summer, and since the sun's so incredibly powerful these days (ganito ba last year??), we stay inside the house until at least 5pm. There are days when it still feels like high noon at 5:30!
But when the sun finally calms down, that's when a few kids from the neighborhood begin coming over, one by one.
This doesn't include the group of the older kids.

I love it because as a child, I lived farthest from where my friends lived. Ergo, play dates almost never happened in our house. Aside from the location, they were also afraid of my father who used to have a large, booming voice. I swear, I used to know where my father was just by listening to how loud or weak his voice was.

Anyway, I'm getting off track. Our current house, because of its location on the main road, became the meeting place of kids. It's also because all lots surrounding our house are empty, and we know kids love empty lots! So in the afternoon, our house becomes like a mini-daycare center with several kids and a handful of yayas. As much as I would like to join the fun, I'm still working during that time!

As for me, I like having many kids in the house not only because the house becomes livelier but also because Yuri gets to practice his socialization skills. Despite being the youngest (all the other kids are about 3 and older), he knows almost each kid by name.

So far, there's not been an issue with sharing, too. Way to go, kids!

Another thing that I like about having many people around are the conversations I get to eavesdrop to unintentionally hear. Here are a few I remember:

Honey, Yuri's yaya to a 6-year old boy, MJ
Honey: MJ, diba kayo yung may prosti?
(My eyes widened when I heard this.)
MJ: Ano yan?
Honey: Prosti gud. Diba may prosti kayo sa bahay nyo?
MJ: Anong prosti?
Honey: Yung benta nyo gud?
MJ: Ah, ice candy

Photo: http://www.dmc.com.ph/ 

Honey: Oo yun. Prosti man tawag dun.

April 28, 2014

A Weekend Spent at Home

Well, technically, we didn't spend the entire weekend at home since we went to the mall yesterday to buy some beach toys for the little boy. And some sleeveless shirts AKA sando. And ate some ice cream to beat the hot weather.

For a grand total of 3 hours.

That was because I was in a hurry to go back home because I needed to work. So I guess it totally didn't count hehe.

Anyway, I had to work yesterday morning and evening because I took a "forced" leave last Saturday. You see, Yuri's yaya is a college student (Sunday school) and had to take care of some requirements, I guess, to complete this academic year. Since the offices are closed on Sundays, she had to go on a Saturday. Basically, we switched day-offs.

My parents were also somewhere in Davao Oriental, enjoying a company outing, so it was just me and Yuri - plus my sister, who was in her own world reading a book in the tablet, so it was just really me and Yuri. It was a good thing because I really, really love to bond with this kid, especially now that he's more fun to be with!

No offense to infant Yuri but toddler Yuri is really better company. Hahaha!
It was very hot that day so we didn't dare play outside. Instead, we turned the AC on, grabbed the blanket, and made a mini fort slash tent! It was fun. I think I had more fun than Yuri...

No, Yuri! You can't enter the teeent!
Hello? Iya? Yayu? We have a problem here. Mama's driving me crazy!

We ate homemade turon, too. Ours have strawberry jam and pineapple jam in them. Yum!
The little boy is also getting into a habit of choosing the books he likes. After thumbing through them for a few minutes or so, he gets his favorite car and totally ignores the books. Boys! (Pictured above are Dr. Seuss' Ten Apples Up on Top and Janell Canon's Stellaluna.)
I'm gonna do what I want, Mama!
More eating ensues. I mean, food is the only way I get a hyperactive toddler to stay still - and I know the sugar makes him even more active, so I know I don't make any sense. It's okay; I have the license to be illogical. I'm a woman. Hehehe peace. (On hindsight, I would get really fat if I become a full-time SAHM.)
Hello? Iya? Yayu? Um, Mama's making me eat junk food...

In my defense, ngayon lang naman eh! :-P
My favorite time of the day: naptime! Bwahahaha.
Kids now come over to the house every day. That day, Princess came over, and they played "angel-angel." As for the peace sign? I don't know. Go figure. Maybe they were actually playing "hippie-hippie."
I stayed at home while the parents enjoyed this little piece of paradise. Beach, I'm coming! Wait for meeee!

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April 26, 2014

My Name Isn't Even That Hard To Spell!

Are you a victim of misspelled names?

I am.

I know so many people whose names always get misspelled, but theirs is understandable because they have unique names. I mean, when I was in second grade, my adviser's name was Tepane. I'm not kidding.

That was years ago, and until now, I still couldn't decide whether she was supposed to be a "Stephanie" or a "Tiffany." Maybe her parents couldn't decide.

If I were her, I wouldn't blame people for misspelling my name.

But my case is different. I think of my name as rather simple: Marie Angeli. Plain and common. Still, it's understandable when people spell my first name as "Mary" and the second name as "Angelie." They're acceptable because they're still, well, real names.

Now, I'm in the middle of yet another online transaction, and upon tracking my order, I see this:
Wait, wait. What was that again?
Marie Angeh??? Seriously?! Hahahaha is that even a name? I really found this funny and I couldn't stop looking at the webpage because I must have been imagining things. But no, it's really "Angeh." I can easily imagine how the sender's penmanship must have looked like, but it would take guts for the Xend employee to type my name as "Angeh" rather than the name that makes sense, "Angeli."

I salute you! Hahaha ano ba? Brain soup much.

After getting over the name part and proceeding to actually tracking my package, I headed over to the link to LBC as indicated below.
I felt relief when I found out my package was already on its way, and I felt more relief when a more sensible LBC employee figured out what my second name was.
But wait, what's that? Upon further inspection, I found this:

Photo: http://www.acclaimimages.com/

Hahaha nakakaloka!

Well, in fairness, this was not the first time my surname was spelled this way, so I'm taking it with a grain of salt. Wala lang, nakakatawa lang that both my name and surname were murdered in just one transaction!

What about you? Any name mishaps lately? :D

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April 25, 2014

Finance Friday: Which Credit Card Suits You Best? (Guest Post)

In our household, we only have one credit card. I wouldn't go into details as to what bank it is, but we maintain just one credit card among all of us (5 family members). This credit card is essential to us especially when the banks are closed and we haven't withdrawn money yet. This is also very handy when we make transactions such as booking flights.

However, we only use one credit card because we don't want to become slaves to it. We try to live by this rule: a credit card is just a transaction tool, not an actual fund. This means we only use a credit card when we know we could purchase what we bought even without the card. But how would you know which credit card suits you best?

To know this, here's a very informative guest post from our friends from MoneyMax.ph.

Find Which Credit Card Suits You Best

Credit cards offer great convenience, especially to moms who are in charge of budgeting the family’s income and taking care of the needs of each family member. If you’re smart about using your credit card, you can earn rewards and be able to enjoy its maximum benefits.

For one, a credit card can help you keep better track of your expenses, since it keeps an electronic record of every purchase you make. A card can also serve you well in times of emergency, when an important expense arises and you find yourself short of cash.

If you’re just planning to get a credit card, here are ways on how to know which one to pick:

Consider Your Needs
What do you need the credit card for? As the home manager, you can use a credit card for shopping purposes, particularly the daily needs of your spouse or children such as groceries, clothing, and school supplies. You might need a card to be able to buy your college student a new laptop, at more affordable terms. Credit cards can now even be used for paying tuition fees in some universities.

April 24, 2014

Q&As for Pluto's Sake!

I heard there will be this some kind of blogging conference to be held in Pluto. How exciting, right?! Hahaha. Luckily, I got invited by Rea of Reality Bites, and to, well, qualify, I have to answer this note. Easy peasy, that's my favorite online thing to do!

1. Are you named after someone?

No, but my father really wanted a "Maan" for a daughter so they made up an actual name that would end up with it as a nickname. Thus, Marie Angeli.

2. When was the last time you cried?

Oh I don't remember. I'm pretty sure, though, that it must have been during a quiet time with the Lord since I haven't had a reason to cry lately! Praise God!

Oh wait now I remember. It was last week when I read about why blood and water came out from Jesus' side when He was pierced. I was bawling!

3. Do you have kiddos?

Yes, one! My Yuri Gabriel who just turned 2.
Big boy aqua shoes! Too excited to go to the beach, which keeps getting postponed. Sorry!
What happens when you're 2 and stuck at home on a summer day. (Thanks, Ninang Camille, for the super cute cloth dipes!)

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend to yourself?

I'm pretty sure I would since I have an amazing personality.

Okay, kidding aside, maybe I can tolerate my mood-swings because I, well, like giving gifts. Haha!

5. Do you have a guilty pleasure?

April 22, 2014

Have you heard about Jollibee's Happy Plus Card?

Jollibee Kids Club, Jollibee Happy Plus Card
A photo of me and my posse from the photo-booth at the event

Two Sundays ago, we were invited to attend Jollibee's launch of the Happy Plus card. How exciting!

I'll tell you a secret. I've never been a member of any kiddie club (outside of school) when I was young. I would have loved to join, but my parents were always super busy and there would be no one who can accompany me every day.

Now, being invited to Jollibee's events makes me see what I missed! I always adore the Jollibee Kids' Club members and hope Yuri can be a member, too!

So back to the event na hehe. We eat at Jollibee so often - it's Yuri's favorite, really! - that it has become a running joke within the family that we need to have membership cards. Haha! Imagine my excitement to know what a Happy Plus card is!
Jollibee Kids Club, Jollibee Happy Plus Card
First dibs on the Happy Plus cards!

April 21, 2014

It's Back to Work Monday!!!

Image from Google

Wow, it's Monday! Gah! Did you also have a long vacation? How did you spend it? Mine was spent just at home. We didn't go anywhere because of my father's arthritis, so I have nothing exciting to share. But I will still blog because it's been days since I have last written!

Like you, office-going folks, I also had a three-day vacation last week. It's actually unplanned, and I would still work if I could, but the yaya requested for a vacay so...

Her vacation started on early morning of Friday and I was excited to be a full-time mom to Yuri of course. She was to return on Sunday evening.However, she did not go back last night. She actually sent us a message asking if she could return on Monday instead, but we firmly said no because we know Monday's going to be hectic. I expected her to follow our instructions, but she did not. Instead, she disobediently returned just this morning.

Actually, she even requested to go home on Thursday afternoon. Hay naku, ano ba?

It's just sad that even though she had a long vacation, she was not grateful to have it, and she even went against our request. By the way, just to show you that we're not super strict employers, she already had a 4-day vacation last January. The law states that they're entitled to 5-day vacation leaves per year. Plus, she always uses her day-offs (Sundays) to the max as she doesn't go home until around midnight.


It just made this Monday, when I have too much to do, more stressful. But I can manage with God's grace. Thank you, Jesus! And thank you for conquering death and sin more than 2000 years ago. Victory was, is, and will always be yours! You've never been dead since then; you are alive and I proclaim you the Son of God, the true Christ! I will always be singing you praises!

PS: I have sooo much blogging to do! Hopefully, I can publish all of my pending drafts as soon as possible.

PPS: Have you seen the movie, Son of God? I saw it last Thursday, and so far, it's my most favorite film about Jesus. It may not be 100% accurate, as all movies are, but I like it because it gave the message that the Resurrection is not the end of Jesus' mission but only the beginning. Isn't that just wonderful?

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April 16, 2014

If You're a Christian, You Need to Believe in a Physical, Literal Resurrection

Let me preface this post by saying that after I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior almost 4 years ago, that was when I truly, genuinely understood why it is important for us to never forget why a perfect and sinless Son of God had to die for our sins. Remembering this makes me feel so grateful that Jesus died on the Cross to free me from the bonds of my sins and allow me to be as close as I can to the Father.

But the point of this post is not Jesus' death.

It's how he conquered it.

I get bewildered every time I hear other Christians proclaiming something that the Bible clearly does not support. Imagine my surprise when I found out that some believers, even preachers, dismiss the validity and historicity of Jesus' resurrection.

His resurrection is not metaphorical. It is not merely symbolic. No, it's not enough to dismiss the nature of the resurrection because "what matters is that we believe in Jesus." No, it's important to truly understand that it really did happen and that Jesus physically, bodily rose from the dead.

It's not even something we can just "agree to disagree on." If you're a Christian, you have to believe in an actual resurrection. It's non-negotiable.

I have not yet read books to answer this question, but I'll gladly lead you to a blogger I look up to who wrote about the answers. The original post is here, and here are all of the important arguments:
1. Jesus repeatedly predicted his own resurrection (not just his death!). 

A skeptic might say that anyone could predict his own death if he was causing a political uproar at that point in history. But the Gospels each point out at least once that Jesus predicted he would rise after death. Jesus clearly knew it was important that he demonstrate his foreknowledge of the resurrection.

“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” (Matthew 16:21)

2. If Jesus predicted resurrection but did not come back to life, he would have either been wrong or an outright liar. If he predicted resurrection and did come back to life, it proves he was God (only God could do that). 

If Jesus was wrong or a liar, that would make him NOT perfect, and therefore NOT God. If Jesus was NOT God, he had no power to die on the cross for our sins, which is literally the heart of Christianity.

Christianity therefore rests on the historical truth of the resurrection.

The fact that Jesus predicted his own resurrection meant that he had to rise or else he was nothing more than a person who lived 2000 years ago and taught people to do some good things.

3. The lives of the apostles bear strong witness to the truth of the literal resurrection. 

We have now established the facts that Jesus predicted his resurrection and that he had to fulfill that prediction in order for him to have been the God he said he was. Now, how do we know he actually did rise from the dead?

Although there are many pieces of evidence for the historical resurrection (see Lee Strobel’s book, “The Case For Christ,” for a great summary), the lives of the apostles after Jesus’ resurrection bear the ultimate witness to it: almost all of the apostles died gruesome martyr deaths for spreading the Gospel of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Every Christian should understand why this is extremely powerful evidence that the resurrection happened.

It is possible for anyone to be willing to die for a strong belief in something. But no (sane) person would be willing to die for proclaiming a lie. These apostles knew first-hand whether Jesus really was resurrected. If he wasn’t, they would have known that, and would not have been willing to die to proclaim it. If he was, they would know he was nothing less than God, and would have risked everything. This is exactly what they did.

Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians 15:14: “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”(See also Acts 17:31, Acts 23:6, Romans 8:34, 1 Peter 1:3.)

In short, Jesus had to be resurrected to prove he was God; it was the ultimate proof because only God is capable of conquering death. Because he was God, and because he lived a perfect sinless life, he was uniquely able to die for our sins, ultimately reconciling us with God through our belief in him.
If you have more time to read - and I think you do since it would be holidays the following days - I also suggest you read this post about Jesus' Resurrection from GotQuestions.org. Here are the arguments highlighted in it:
The First Line of Evidence for Christ's resurrection 

To begin with, we have demonstrably sincere eyewitness testimony. Early Christian apologists cited hundreds of eyewitnesses, some of whom documented their own alleged experiences.

Many of these eyewitnesses willfully and resolutely endured prolonged torture and death rather than repudiate their testimony.

The Second Line of Evidence for Christ's resurrection

A second line of evidence concerns the conversion of certain key skeptics, most notably Paul and James.

The Third and Fourth Lines of Evidence for Christ's resurrection

A third line and fourth line of evidence concern enemy attestation to the empty tomb and the fact that faith in the resurrection took root in Jerusalem. Jesus was publicly executed and buried in Jerusalem. It would have been impossible for faith in His resurrection to take root in Jerusalem while His body was still in the tomb where the Sanhedrin could exhume it, put it on public display, and thereby expose the hoax.

The Fifth Line of Evidence for Christ's resurrection

Finally, a fifth line of evidence concerns a peculiarity of the eyewitness testimony. In all of the major resurrection narratives, women are credited as the first and primary eyewitnesses. This would be an odd invention since in both the ancient Jewish and Roman cultures women were severely disesteemed. Their testimony was regarded as insubstantial and dismissible. Given this fact, it is highly unlikely that any perpetrators of a hoax in 1st Century Judea would elect women to be their primary witnesses.
Let me end this post by borrowing a quotation from Sir Lionel Luckhoo of The Guinness Book of World Records fame for his unprecedented 245 consecutive defense murder trial acquittals:
“I have spent more than 42 years as a defense trial lawyer appearing in many parts of the world and am still in active practice. I have been fortunate to secure a number of successes in jury trials and I say unequivocally the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely no room for doubt.”

Have a meaningful and prayerful holy week, everyone! I used to stop celebrating it thinking that we should remember Jesus' death and victory over it every day, but hey, there must be nothing wrong with having a special time each year meant for us all to remember it.

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April 15, 2014

Potty Training Yuri: The Success!

I was supposed to publish this yesterday but I had to deal with the bane of my existence: no internet connection.

It has been more than 4 weeks since Yuri has been relatively successful in using the potty during daytime.

I say "4 weeks" because Yuri had finally consistently used the potty chair a week before his 2nd birthday, which was 3 weeks ago.
Sorry for the foul language; I couldn't find one more accurate hahahaha!

Yes, I couldn't still believe it. My boy was daytime potty-trained before his second birthday, and, well, I did it single-handedly. Yeah!

*accepts medal of valor*

*accepts gentle but firm slap by the Holy Spirit and returns to seat*

Anyway, I say "relatively" because ther are still, as expected, accidents. Especially the time when he ate too many slices of watermelon during dinner. The next morning, there was poop everywhere! To give Yuri credit, though, he did say "potty" before he helplessly pooped down my shorts. And he looked more mortified than me! Poor boy!

So how did we achieve this relative success? Here are some tips I can give you:

1. Do not force the child.

My kid is used to schedules and routines because both I and his yaya are sticklers for routines. However, in the case of potty-training, I let him be mainly because I know Yuri can be easily discouraged. I just bought a potty chair and let him be familiar with it.

One thing I did which you shouldn't do is be visibly stressed around the child. Stress is contagious and he can easily see the act of pooping and peeing as incorrectly stressful.

Also, don't ever force the kid to sit on the potty chair. Gently guide him to it and encourage him to sit down but don't ever do what I once did which is physically restrain him to the seat. Choose your battles, momma!

2. Do not stress yourself about the 2-day or 3-day methods.

Like what I mentioned, Yuri is familiar with routines and is visibly becoming a schedule-person. However, these routines, like naptime and outdoors-time, were established over months. While I heard of 2 and 3 days methods, I know it wouldn't work for Yuri.

Why? Because it's pretty shocking. I mean, the boy was pooping and peeing in his diapers all his life! Suddenly making him do these stuff seated on a chair can be downright scary. It wouldn't be fair to make them shift into this new stage in life in just a couple of days.

Then again, some babies really do learn to potty in just a matter of days. If yours does, congratulations! If yours does not, high five!
--- Okay, what I gave you were more on mental and emotional tips. What about physical and material preparedness? Here are more of my tips:

3. Potty-training is most stress-free if the child can communicate.

I'm pretty blessed to have a talkative child, and to be honest, it made the process of potty-training a lot easier. This is because he can easily tell me if he needs to go potty.

I'm not talking about just verbal communication either. Some smart mommas teach their babies sign language which makes communication easy and efficient. Even if your child can't talk yet but can easily relay to you the poop and/or pee message, then I say go for it!

Not all will agree with me, but if you're not yet very comfortable about your child's communication skills - but he'll get there! - I really suggest you be patient. Save yourself and your child from the unnecesary stress. Again, choose your battles!

4. Choose the right potty chair.

April 11, 2014

Finance Friday: God Increases

If I could describe my general mood for the past weeks, I would say it would be anxiety. I've been worried and stressed over many things that I also failed to spiritually connect to God on many occasions. It really is true that worrying is the opposite of faith.

I worried about many things: the length of time it has taken for my camera to be fixed, the lack of payment from a friend who borrowed money from me, and the problem regarding my house loan.

Money sure knows how to make the world go round.

Now, faith. Faith is what is what should have made my world go round, but I succumbed to worrying. Because of this, I almost did not hear the prompting of God within me.

My primary problem - concern - is the housing loan. As a little bit of background, we're almost done paying the equity. In a few months from now, we should be starting paying the amortization.

However, to do that, my application for bank financing must be approved. You see, I'm currently on my "single mom stint" now. Even if Job financially supports us, it is my name that appears on the papers. Long story.

So anyway, to apply, of course I need to submit work-related documents. I had problems securing a contract from my current "work provider." While I did have a contract I signed 3 years ago, I was advised I couldn't use it because of some legal changes in the system.

Okay, I could live with that. The problem is that I no longer received updates about an alternate document I can submit to the bank. Worse, my follow-up request was not met so well (I actually wrote about it here). Uh oh.

My mom, who is also my real estate agent (shameless plug: Davao Real Properties), scrambled to find another way. She tried to get me officially employed by her real estate office; unfortunately, that backfired. We tried other ways including talking to the developer himself but they didn't work out the way we exactly planned.

I wanted to question God on why this blessing was becoming a burden. I was so sure He wanted to bless us with a home, but why was it so difficult?

Now, this same developer is opening a new subdivision with the same low-cost units. The location is different, farther from the one we originally bought from, but it's good in its own way because it's near my parents' house (where we live now) and even nearer another lot my parents bought.

What made it a practical option is the fact that in this subdivision, the developer offered 5-years 0% interest cash payment scheme. In other words, I don't have to go through bank financing anymore. In other words, I shouldn't have anything to worry about!

On top of that, it's not officially open yet so there are still many corner lots to choose from. Perfect, right?

But I didn't want to consider it because, I don't know, maybe I was ready for a change in environment? Maybe it was because I really wanted to be neighbors with George? Maybe it was because I wanted to transfer to my own home right away?

As opposed to the original house and lot we were paying for, where we can transfer within this year, we would have to wait for around 3 more years in this new one. And that was a major con for the impatient me.

Impatient. Patience. Wait. Wasn't God teaching me a lesson about that? Isn't it one of the ungodly traits I should remove, one of the reasons behind this waiting season?

Upon that realization, I began to have an inkling of what God was directing me to do. One morning, my mom told me that the bookkeeper had trouble fixing my ITR (for some reason!). In addition to that, the developer offered to have us pay the balance for 5 years instead of just 4 years because we had already paid for a year for the previous development. Because of that, our monthly payment became lower than what it should have been.

Right then and there, I made the decision to transfer. Yes, I wasn't able to consult Job about this one, but there was nothing he can do, too, and time literally was running out for my parents to still grab a good lot. Most importantly, I'm sure God will talk to him Himself.

Yes, there's a bit of belt-tightening involved. I couldn't name figures here, but compared to what we were paying previously, now we have to pay almost 50% more. That's huge but the reward is a lot that would be more than 20% bigger than the original one. On top of that, it's a property that would be completely ours in just 5 years.

Wow. I'm amazed myself at the turnout of the events.

Sure, there are moments when I ask myself if we could pay that bigger amount every month but God reminds me not to worry. He is in control, and He is faithful.

The point of this post is to tell you that God increases. A lot of us might know this on the theological basis, but it's hard to see it work in the practical daily life.

Here are the ways God increased me during this ordeal:

God increased the problem with the original subdivision; at the same time, God increased the "potential" of the new subdivision. It's like He lowered the old option to raise the new and better one.

God increased our income, and as a result, we increased our giving. Since God cannot be outdone in giving, He increased our income even more. Because of that, He gave us the provision to be able to follow His plan about our address.

God increased the amount of money we need to pay for every month, but He also increased the land's size. Oh it's still very little compared to what you may be thinking but God will increase it over time!

God increased what we have to pay for every month; at the same time, it increases self-control and restraint and would increase our knowledge on personal finance.

God increased the time we have to wait for this house to be built; thus, He is also able to increase what patience and fortitude (???) we have inside.

God increased the anticipation we must have and personal sacrifices we must make but He also increased the provision to go through it and the reward to look forward to. God increased the season of planting and, by faith, I claim He will also increase the harvest.

God increases. I increase in God. Siksik, liglig, at umaapaw.

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April 10, 2014

Meetup with Friends + Abreeza Organic Fair

Hi, it's throwback Thursday!

Hehe actually that's just my excuse for writing a post that should have been written, like, 2 weeks ago. Oh well what's new?

So a couple of weeks ago, my long-distance best friend, Teena, came home from Manila. The funny part was that she only spent hours here in Davao City. She arrived early in the morning and she had to leave by afternoon. Nakakaloka!

George and I, of course, tried to fit ourselves into her packed schedule. But since George has work (and I do not? I have work, too! Hehe), what happened is that George and I (and Yuri and my sister) had lunch first and Teena and I met later after George had gone back to her office.

When Teena finally arrived, I just finished off my lunch - and okay my sister's lunch, too - and we tried to explore the Organic Fair happening in Abreeza that day.

You might probably remember how I had tried to score locally made chocolates weeks prior but failed.

Fortunately, they were in Abreeza that day. Yay!

Here are some photos Teena took that day:
Yuri, me, and "Ninan Tina"

April 9, 2014

Two Natural Ice Cream Flavors You Can Make this Summer

I seriously cannot recall how it felt during the cold months of January and February.

Even though our weather here in the south is a bit on the "cool" side now because of the storm (Oh God protect us!), the air is still hot and humid.

As it's already officially summer, is there a better thing to do than eat ice cream?

Yes, there is something better. Make one!

This week and last week, I made two different ice cream flavors that you can create at home. Aside from being more affordable than commercial ice cream, these only have two ingredients each. What's not to love?

First one is the classic avocado ice cream. Americans might be surprised to hear that we eat this fruit in sweet desserts. Anyway, I love avocado because it has protein and healthy saturated fats which we all need.

To make the ice cream, you only need two ingredients: avocados and condensed milk.

Yes, I know condensed milk is not the most nutritious stuff on the planet and it raises the cholesterol level of this ice cream, but there's no better replacement for this (unless you can suggest one?). Plain milk makes the mixture too liquid, which is not good in creating ice cream, while honey does not make it creamy enough.

I seriously believe it's still better than commercial ice cream!
How to make it? Just blend the two ingredients together! I don't have measurements because you only need to add the milk from time to time until you achieve the flavor you want.

The second ice cream you can make is a lot healthier than the first: banana-peanut butter! I actually first wrote about it last year. I love bananas because they're rich in potassium while peanut butter is full of protein.

Like the name suggests, you only need bananas and peanut butter.

You can use any kind of peanut butter, but I shy away from using brands with too many ingredients. My current favorite is the local Danes brand as I have yet to see a brand here with just peanuts as the ingredient.

Anyway, just blend the two ingredients together! Again, I don't have a measurement for this. Just gradually add the PB until you achieve the flavor you want.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take a photo of the actual ice cream because we quickly ate it all up during a power interruption. Fail!

That's it! Have a great summer!

Tip: You can make any fruit combination that you want. Just remember to use fruits that are fleshy and not those that are juicy (oranges, watermelon). While these fruits are great for juices and smoothies, I don't think you'll be able to make creamy ice cream with them.

PS: This week or maybe next, I might make mango ice cream. Yum!

PPS: What about durian? Ooh interesting, although there are only two people in the house who eat durian: my mother and my kuya. Hihi

PPPS: If you're not fond of ice cream (how come?!), here are two healthy alternatives to battle the summer heat:
Ice-cold chocolate made of 100% chocolate callets from Cacao de Davao

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