It’s My Birthday And I’ll Blog If I Want To

Another trip around the sun. And now I’m 34.

Hey guys, it’s been a while since I last posted. There is no real reason for my absence, just that I didn’t feel like writing at all these past few months. But, as always, the hiatus has proven to be good for me. Here I am, back again, with a million and one stories swimming in my head, just waiting to be shared.

I figured this would be the perfect day to start posting again, after all it is my day.

 

Birthday weekend coming up, which means πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚!!! #alittlebitolderalittlebitwiser

A post shared by Patricia 🌸 At Home With MrsC (@mrspcuyugan) on

I guess the best place to start would be to bring you all up to speed on where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing since my last entry in December.

Basically, I’ve been at home. The whole of 2016 I felt really compelled to work on making our house a real home, from establishing routines to making sure that everything we have in it are things that we use or really, really love. I’ve continued to feel this way well into the new year, and so that’s what I’ve been up to in these first few weeks of 2017, too. 

mrspcuyuan christmas
Christmas 2016 in Alabang, Cainta and ParaΓ±aque!

Last year ended just the way I like it, surrounded by family and friends who truly matter. My MIL came home for the holidays last December, and it was the first time in 8 years that we got to spend Christmas with her. We also welcomed Little MrC’s first, first cousin on the Cuyugan side, baby Luna. And, of course, my loyal band of girlfriends were part of my holiday fun too, just has they’ve been for the last 20 years. 

So far in 2017, we’ve had a wedding (which, sadly, the boys and I missed) and a baptism, welcomed home several balikbayans, and celebrated a few birthdays and ordinary days with countless food-filled family gatherings.

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2017 New Year’s Celebration

The kiddo will soon say goodbye to the fifth grade, and has a newfound obsession with growing his hair. I have come to terms that I will have a teenager soon. One who asks that I not write about him so much, and that I stop posting photos of him with funny Snapchat filters. 

As a family, we’ve started cleaning out my Loli’s closets, which is a several-years-overdue project for the family. MrC and I have also been carefully removing things we no longer need from our house, and happily bringing in new things thanks to the generosity of our loved ones.

I’ve been cooking a lot for my family, and the feedback has been amazing. I baked my first loaf of gluten-free bread, and learned how to make champorado from scratch. I’ve managed to overhaul our fridge and pantry quite a bit to make room for my kiddo’s gluten-free needs, and it’s been a good change for all of us over here.

I’m lucky to have a husband who supports my quirks and goes with the endless changes I try to make at home. Lately I’ve been obsessing over my kitchen, from wanting to lessen our use of plastic to trying to go paperless as much as we can. I have this newfound love for cloth napkins, and I’m happy to say that my collection is growing thanks to our Loli closet cleanup.

Life over here has been hectic but good. I’m happy to report that I didn’t go through my usual birthday blues this year, likely because I am exactly where I want to be in life right now. I’m loving every moment, from the quiet ones to the very loud ones. If only I could get myself motivated enough to write about them all. Right? 

Hopefully, this is the start of that. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

So make me kwento, what’s been up with you guys so far this year? πŸ™‚

December Goals

Hello! After taking a long break from my computer screen, I’m back and ready to face the world again. Perfect timing, too, because December is here!

I dunno about you guys, but our family is super excited for the holidays. Our tree is up, the air is a little bit chillier (at least in the early morning), my mom just bought her first quezo de bola of the season, and my mom-in-law is all packed and ready to fly home for her first Manila Christmas since 2007. We definitely have a lot to look forward to, and a lot to be thankful for this year.

I have a bunch of things that I want to accomplish for myself this month, too, the first of which is to actually list my goals. 

Goal-setting isn’t something I’m accustomed to doing, and the last time I actually did this was at the start of 2016. But because I am forever dreaming of becoming more organized and learning to live more mindfully and intentionally, I figured that this might be the most logical first step. And, I’ve chosen to share my goals here on the blog as a way of cornering myself into really working towards achieving them. Makes sense, right?

So here we go, here’s my little list of December goals.

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Isn’t my Christmas tree topper the cutest, ever?

Finish reading at least one book. I don’t know why, but I only finished reading six out of the many books I started this year. Right now, I’m somewhere in the middle of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which, surprisingly, I have never read before. I hope that I actually see this novel through til the end. If not, I really hope I can find one that I’ll read from cover to cover before 2016 is over. 

Cut back on eating out. This is something that our household started doing in November, and I have to say that it’s been such a good change for us. We live just a few streets a way from a lot of yummy places to eat (I wrote about our foodie neighborhood a while back) and we really got carried away when we first moved. Now, after just a month of choosing to eat at home more often, we have been able to cut back on our expenses, and we generally feel healthier and happier. So yes, this goal is something that I am definitely carrying over into the new month.

Eat more veggies. In line with the eating-in goal, I’ve also started overhauling our meals to include more vegetables, upon the husbandry’s request. I’m lucky that I don’t have any picky eaters to feed, and so far my veggie dishes have been well-received. This is a real challenge for me, truth be told, because I grew up in a meat-loving home. Recipe suggestions would be greatly appreciated, guys!


Write a new blog post at least once a week. Ah, blogging, the one thing that I want to do regularly but never get around to actually doing. I feel like a post a week is more than manageable, though, so yes, this is officially one of my goals now. Again. Lol.

Figure out my blog newsletter. I have one, and it sucks. But that’s because I never really gave it much thought. Right now it’s really just a monthly roundup of posts from the blog. Or is it weekly? See, I don’t even remember. I know, though, that I can do so much more with that newsletter. I just need to figure out what I actually want it to do. 

Share at least two recipes. I keep promising people recipe posts, and I never get around to writing them. I have been listing all my utangs, though, and as soon as I can take better food photos, I will really start sharing those recipes. Promise!

Attempt to make gluten-free bread. I have been wanting to do this for a while now, but because it’s so convenient to just order from Amores Gluten Free, I’ve been putting it off. I do think it’s time for me to start. I think I’m ready now.

 

Gluten-free bread. Gerald.PH on the left, Amores Gluten Free on the right. #theglutenfreeproject #glutenfreefood #glutenfreeliving

A photo posted by Patricia ? At Home With MrsC (@mrspcuyugan) on

Answer all of my pending emails, and clear out my inbox. Because there are just so many of them already.

Finish washing all of our laundry. Confession: You won’t see the mountain of laundry that I need to deal with inside my house because it is hidden away in my car. Thing is, I need to get the car cleared out before it’s time to get my my MIL from the airport, otherwise there won’t be any space for her bags. Should I start panicking now?

Create one of those “Two Seconds Everyday” videos. I’ve seen a bunch of my friends do this on Facebook, and they got the idea from the movie Chef. It’s a great way to capture memories! You basically take two seconds of video footage each day and edit them together into a monthly roundup video kind of thing. Does this make sense? Haha! If you don’t get what I mean, wait for my video at the end of the month. Time to whip out my hidden-away Comm Arts skills!

There you go, 10 goals for December. I’m pretty excited to start working on them. Maybe even as excited as I am for Christmas.

So tell me… Do you guys do any goal-setting? Is this something you do monthly, too, or maybe yearly? Weekly? Any tips for greater success? πŸ™‚

mrspcuyugan

Halloweekend 2016

Hey guys, how is everybody? Did you all have fun over the long Halloween weekend? We definitely did.

Our family is big on Halloween, and I’m happy that this year we were able to do a little bit of Halloweening at home. Finally! The main festivities still happened at my parents’ place, since Halloween in Alabang is awesome, but I really made sure we had a few fun activities at our house, too.

The kiddo was on mid-year school break, so it was the perfect time for us to get crafty, and work in the kitchen together. Honestly, I really made an effort to think of gadget-free activities that would keep him occupied just to be sure that he would take a break from playing on his iPad.

My rule is, no iPad on school days (including weekends) but during school breaks I will allow him to play video games all he wants. My mom did it this way when I was a kid, and it worked for us. But then it was easier at our house because I had siblings to play with on gadget-free days. So now with Little MrC, his dad and I have to keep him entertained. I think I did okay.

Our first Halloween sembreak activity was to make super cute, really easy, popsicle stick crafts, which we used as decor at home.

For this, we just searched for pegs on Pinterest, and started working from there. I’ve also started looking for Christmas craft ideas. I feel like I should encourage my kid to do more of these projects with me because they don’t do that many hands-on projects anymore at school. Most of their projects are now done on the iPad. It’s kinda sad, but looking at it from a different perspective, I find his Garage Band and iMovie skills impressive naman. So I guess it’s not all that bad.

Anyway.

One thing they have been doing a lot more of in school is cooking. The Home Economics curriculum has improved so much since I was a student. A lot of the lessons are more practical now. So, now that I know that he can work a little in the kitchen, I figured it was time to get the kiddo to make a meal with me.

I know, I know, I know, some kids his age are already capable of making simple meals on their own. But you have to remember that I also just recently learned how to cook. Being able to share the task, and teach him while I’m at it, is a huge deal for me. Baby steps lang.

From the start, Little MrC was excited about preparing our Halloween-themed meal. My plan was to take care of all the ingredient prep and actual cooking, and I let him do the decorating. 

We made baked mozzarella-stuffed “eyeball” meatballs in bloody marinara sauce, mummy potato skin pizzas, and spotty rice pilaf. The mummies were much nicer before I baked them. I think I should have chosen a less-melty type of cheese for this. Still, everything was super yummy, and 100% made with love.

Halloween day, like I said, was spent at my mom’s place. We went around the village, got lots of candy, and then had an early dinner with the family. My cousin joined us, along with her new baby, and that was a real treat. The baby was dressed as the cutest scuba diver I ever did see.

For the first time ever, I took charge of the boys’ costumes this year, and I have to say I’m super proud of the outcome. Don’t my stick men look awesome? Ako naman, walang costume, because I decided to be the designated driver this time. It’s always been MrC driving us around, and I thought it would be nice to (finally) give him a break.

Also for the first time, we had a Halloween-themed buffet at my mom’s. The lovely people from White Box sent us a dessert bar decor box sampler, and we were super excited to use it. Kaya lang we had no desserts to display lol. So instead of cupcakes and sweet treats, we had pasta trays and baked ribs in our spread. I think it ended up looking awesome anyway.

mrspcuyugan
Waahhh I wish I had a nicer photo of our setup! We were in such a rush that I wasn’t able to take a good one.

 

So that was Halloween weekend for us. Can’t wait til next year. For now, it’s time for us to shift to Christmas mode! So exciting!!!

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Oh, one last pahabol. Just a bit of info on White Box.

White Box aims is to provide their clients with a simple and convenient way to put together fun, stylish celebrations. They create, curate and customize party decorations and essentials according to their customers’ distinct needs and preferences, all packed in a box and sent to their venues or houses.

If you love the DIY look but have no time to work on things from scratch, White Box can definitely help you. They also offer full event styling as an option, along with the use of their custom products. Winner!

If you wanna know more, follow White Box on Instagram. They will also be at The Travelling Trunk this November, where they will be debuting their Christmas boxes. 

 

mrspcuyugan

An Incident Outside School

School drop-off and pick-up can be a real pain in the butt. Us moms and dads who do it every day know this already. This being the case, it’s not usual to see drivers lose their cool. I’ve seen honkers and overly-aggressive drivers, drivers who cut in front of others, and also the occasional “roll down the window and scream at the other car” type of angry driver.

Yesterday, though, I witnessed an incident that I feel was a little extreme. I saw two drivers lose their cool so bad that they started to punch each other out on the street outside my son’s school. In front of everyone. In front of kids. And I mean little kids. Remember, I pick up my son from the grade school area.

mrspcuyugan
It’s not unusual for us to have to crawl through this kind of traffic outside school. Alam na natin to.

 

Here’s the story. The driver of Car A (car in front) was a heavy-on-the-brakes kind of driver. Maybe he was doing it on purpose. Maybe he was texting or distracted. Maybe he really just isn’t the best driver. Whatever it is, the driver behind him (let’s call him Car B) was annoyed by Car A’s driving. I could tell by his constant honking. They were on the lane to my left. 

Car B guy was obviously in a hurry because he kept trying to accelerate quickly. Then, he’d be forced to brake hard whenever Car A would stop, which happened often. The road was pretty packed, and movement was slow. You know what it’s like at dismissal time.

Eventually Car B guy’s patience wore off. He got out of his car, angrily approached Car A (as in sugod levels ha), and started pointing, screaming, and hitting Car A’s window. Car B guy called out to the traffic guards, saying loudly that the driver in Car A was (insert a bunch of insults and curse words here.)

Mature. Very mature. Remember, there were kids in the area. Gosh. Me flipping out is not something I would want my kid, or any kid, to see. Not at all.

Eventually, Car A guy lost his cool, too, and stepped out of his car. That’s when they started to punch each other out. Two guards came over and pulled them apart.

At this point, Little MrC had exited school, and gotten into our car. He saw the fight from the sidewalk and asked me what happened. So I explained. I told him that the two drivers lost their cool, and decided to act on it in a not-so-smart manner.

You guys should have seen the faces of the kids standing on the sidewalk. Some of them looked scared. This was the perfect way to set a bad example.

mrspcuyugan
You know traffic is bad when you have time to take a selfie. But I don’t do this anymore. I realized it sets a bad example. Right?

 

Wala lang, I’m just pretty bothered by what I saw, and I’m a little upset that my son had to see that, too. It’s a good thing that he’s old enough to understand what happened and why, and to know that it’s not right. But to be honest, he isn’t over what he saw. He brought it up again at breakfast today. He’s still bothered. That’s not a good thing.

Sigh. A little extra patience can really go a long way. Sana nalang people on the road remember this. Yes, the traffic problem we face daily is awful, but still. It’s no reason to let go of decency, respect for others, common courtesy, and poise. 

As parents, we always need to be aware that our kids learn from the things we do. Sure, we can’t all be perfect role models all the time, but we also need to keep ourselves in check. Ultimately, we are the adults and we are supposed to know better. That is all.