Monday, December 26, 2011

Disney on Ice: Let's Celebrate (even on a Budget)

Mickey and Minnie - an all time crowd favorite
 Our family is a big fan of Disney.  My daughter is very fond of the princesses and my son absolutely adores Buzz and Woody.  When we found out that Disney on Ice is once again in Manila, my husband and I are already planning to take both of them to see the show -- but on a budget.

Getting there is pretty easy.  We took the MRT at 115pm (from Taft) and arrived at Cubao Station at 145pm.  This is definitely one of the things I love about the MRT -- no traffic!

Fare: 67 Php (including a tricycle ride from our house)

It was a brief walk from the station to Araneta Center and my husband was able to get us tickets with 5 minutes to spare before the show starts. 
Ticket Cost: 600 Php (4 General Admission tickets at 150 Php each)

While waiting for the tickets, there are plenty of souvenirs for the kids and the kids at heart ranging from 200 php to 900 php.  There are coloring books that sell for 200 php, Necklaces for 300 php, Cotton Candy with a Mickey Mouse hat for 350 php and Disney Mugs with Snow Cones for 450 php to name a few.  I have to remind myself that we are on a budget so we only bought the Mickey Mouse binoculars for my daughter. 
Souvenir Item: 350 Php

The Show started with Mickey and Minnie welcoming everyone followed by Lumiere's song "Be Our Guest" which happened to be one of our favorite songs in Beauty and the Beast.  All the cast danced (skated to it).  I can already tell the excitement in my daughter when she started naming all the Disney characters she knows.  My son just woke up at that time so he's still probably wondering where he is.

The show is composed of two (2) parts.  The first part is all about celebrations such as (un)Birthdays, Holloween and a Celebration of Love. 
The second part is celebrating events around the world.  We were given a 15-minute break in between, which gave us time to buy the popcorn that my daughter requested.  
Total Snack Cost: 255 Php (Popcorn, Hotdog and two medium size coke)

We had a great time with the show.  My personal favorite was when it was time for Mickey to clean up the mess in the (un)Birthday Celebration in Alice in Wonderland.  Mickey dressed up as a Sorcerer's apprentice and used magic to get the brooms to clean things up on their own -- just like in Disney's Fantasia.  There was great syncronization with the skaters and their costumes were great!  They were only "brooms" if you think about it.  What made it special is that their costumes are illuminated!

The Grand Finale is the most celebrated holiday -- Christmas! Goofy dressed up as Santa and then Buzz, Jessie and Woody appeared from the presents.  So you can imagine my son's delight when he saw both of his favorite characters.  Then Mickey and his friends appear riding on a sleigh.

I was a little skeptical at first in getting seats in the General Admission but after the show was over, it got me thinking that it's not so bad after all.  You can see the entire stage from where we're located.  And my son can still recognize Mickey and his friends.  Nope, they don't look as small as ants from where we're sitting.  Front row seats costs 1500 per person so it's a little expensive for a family of four (4).

After the show, we stopped at Dairy Queen to get 2 Blizzards and then we took the MRT back home.
Ice cream cost: 108 Php
Fare: 67 Php (including a tricycle ride from our house)

Yesterday, we accomplished a lot.  We get to spend time together as a family.  We watched and enjoyed the show.  My husband and I witnessed the joy in our kids faces and we only get to spend a total of 1447 Php.  Perfect. Just Perfect!

You can visit for schedules and ticket rates.
Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Philips Avent Insulated Sippy Cup Review

My son drinks a lot of water and juice in between meals so we need a lot of spill proof cups that we can take along if not use at home.  My son is not really an avid fan of the spout cup so you can imagine my hesitation in buying a Philips Avent Insulated Sippy Cup.  The design looks really cute and my son being able to identify some of the animals, is going to be a treat. 

Attending the Philips Avent Christmas party gave me the opportunity to win the Insulated cup (thanks Avent!).  It was the perfect time to test if my son is now comfortable drinking from a spout and to see if the Philips Insulated Cup really is magic.

The Philips Avent Insulated Sippy Cup is recommended for toddlers from 18 months onwards but my then 16 month old son was able to easily drink from it.  It comes in different colors and adorable animal designs that any boy or girl could like.  In fact my son loves his yellow elephant cup so much that he has learned to say "ephant" everytime he sees it. 

It is insulated, meaning it can keep your drinks fresh for a long time.  Although it doesn't come with a handle, my son can grip the cup just fine.  The spout is soft but not as soft compared to Pigeon's MagMag; and it's not as hard as the Playtex Insulators.  Did I mention this is also BPA free?

What I also like about it is that it has a flip top cover that is detachable.  You can use the cover when traveling and remove them when at home.  I just wish that the cover is a little easy to open but I take it as a plus feature because my son won't be able to play with it.  There are days though that my son gets impatient especially if it's taking me a while before I can open it. 

The cup is very durable.  This cup has been thrown, kicked and has fallen off the tables and chairs for a month now.  And it hasn't been damaged a bit.  The valve and the cup is fairly easy to clean.  I just use the Avent brush to reach down and clean the bottom of the cup.  

Is it spill proof? Well,  I don't have to put the cup inside the zip lock bag so the water won't spill inside the diaper bag or my bag, that's for sure.   One more thing that I love about it is that, it can contain 9 oz of liquid (water or juice) which is enough for my son. 

Photo by:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why I Love Christmas

The Christmas Season is my favorite season.  So I've listed several reasons why it is so.

#1 The Weather.  I love that it is not so hot and that means I can sleep comfortably in the morning.  (I work in a BPO industry and I have been working in the graveyard shift for the past 7 years)

#2 My 13th Month Pay.  Time to reward myself for working really hard for the past 12 months.  More shopping time (and money) for me.

#3 Bazaars.  I have fun shopping for christmas gifts and the bazaar is where we usually hunt for affordable yet adorable gifts for the kids, inaanaks and the family members.  Check out the following events:

Night Market Park and Sell @ BOOM na BOOM
December 2 to 23, 2011 at the Boom na Boom Grounds located along Roxas Boulevard corner Buendia at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines Complex

Grand Christmas Bazaar 2011 @ the BIG TENT
Nov 11-13, 18-20, 25-27 and Dec 2-4, 9-11, 16-23, 28-30 at the Holy Spirit Drive, Don Antonio, Quezon City

World Bazaar Festival 2011
December 2 - 18, 2011 - World Trade Center

Noel Bazaar and Christmas Shop Expo 2011
December 21 - 23, 2011 - World Trade Center

#4 The Gifts.  I enjoy wrapping gifts as much as arranging them at the bottom of the Christmas tree.  The best part really is seeing the kids' faces when they rip the wrapper apart and see what they got inside.  Oh yeah...I love getting gifts too!

#5 Reunions.  Last year was the best Christmas yet when my parents flew from the province to spend Christmas with us.  It is always great to see everyone in one place, with the adults catching up with each other's lives and the kids running around. 

#6 Traditions.  Every year on Christmas eve, we'd hear mass and then wait for midnight for the Noche Buena.  We live right beside my in-laws' apartment so it's more fun for us and for the kids.  Then, the kids would scramble down the stairs the next day to see what they got from "Santa."

#7 Food.  I love to eat.  I don't cook though but I make a mean macaroni salad (according to my husband and my daughter).  This season is when everyone cooks their specialty - my mother in law's pata tim, my sister in law's lasagna, my father in law's dinuguan, my husband's adobo - and I get to taste them ALL.  Good thing that I'm still breastfeeding.  I get to burn those calories.

What about you?  What do you love about Christmas?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Corduroy: A Book about Love and Determination

My daughter used to be enrolled in the Kumon English program.  We wanted to foster her love for reading so we scout book stores just so we could complete what was on her Kumon reading list.  Our regular book store "hunt" lead us to a copy of Don Freeman's book Corduroy.
The book is about a teddy bear, Corduroy, who has lived in the big department store for a long time; waiting for someone to take him home.  The plot is simple but it speaks a lot about Love and Acceptance.  In the story, the little girl's mother pointed out that Corduroy has a missing button but still the little girl went ahead and bought the teddy bear.  For her, the bear will be her "friend."   The story tells us that we will meet people and discover traits that are not necessarily what we think is ideal.  That person may be not as organized or as outgoing as we want them to be.  We will meet people who may be completely different from us.  They may not have the same race or color or nationality. However,  we can learn how to accept them and look at what's good in them.  That's how we make friends and make relationships work.  And despite all these "imperfections" we still say that we don't love them any less.
The book also speaks about determination.  In the story, the girl wasn't able to buy the teddy bear at first because her mother said they already spent too much.  Corduroy also realized that he had a missing button so he bravely explored the mall to look for it.  I dont think he'd stop looking had the guard not found him.  The same way that the little girl didn't give up; she went back with her savings to buy the teddy bear that she wanted. 
My daughter and I usually play a game of what if's after reading the book.  What if Pinkie, her stuffed animal, loses an eye, will she throw it away?  Will I still love her even if she is makulit?  Will she still love me and tatay even if we became too busy and forget to read her a story or kiss her goodnight?  I know she understood what the story is driving at when she answers "No."  I love how she can confidently say that nothing can change the way her tatay and I feel about her.  And if she ever had challenges in school, we always go back to how the little girl and Corduroy behaved in the story.  Did they give up? No.  Neither should she. 
The Corduroy Book and Bear set is available at National Book Store.  Price Php 303.00

An edited book review is also posted in Smart Parenting's online publication.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

SM Megatale: Moms Gets Reprimanded for Breastfeeding in Public

I've always shopped at SM.  The store is convenient and I loved that they h'ave a breastfeeding station.   I found out recently that one of my friends got reprimanded for breastfeeding in public and this evoked several emotions from me --- disgust, disbelief, appalled, sad -- for several reasons.

One: SM has prided itself as a breastfeeding friendly mall.  So how come the guard said that its forbidden to breastfeed in public?  My friend was even wearing a breastfeeding top and with a baby latched on to her, I don't think she'll be that exposed.  I know because I've done that several times.   What kind of policy do they have?

Second:  how can feeding your child be something that the management forbids anyone to do?  If that is the case then maybe we should reprimand those moms who are formula feeding their babies inside the malls too.   Don't get me wrong.  I think breastfeeding is a choice.   But if we come to look at it breastfeeding and formula feeding is the same if we think of it this way: a hungry baby equals need to drink milk

Third: How can something so natural be so wrong?  Our breasts are created for certain reasons and one of which is to provide nourishment and be able to feed our babies.  

I don't know if it's coincidence or this is something that the SM malls impose nationwide.  Apparently this not only happened in SM Megamall but in Davao as well.  I say this has to be addressed.

To all breastfeeding moms, know our rights.  It doesn't mean that if a mall has a breastfeeding station that we are not allowed to nurse our baby inside their premises.  Reach out to Eliza Santiago-Ypon if you have encountered the same experience.  Like what she said 

"This is (sooo) far from over!"


Please read an update of the incident here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Is it BPA free?

Back when my daughter was born 8 years ago, BPA was unheard of.  Baby bottles are baby bottles.   As long as it is able to serve its purpose then it's fine.  Now, the first thing that moms ask when buying bottles or food container is "Is it BPA free?"  What really is BPA?

BPA (Bisphenol A) is a checmical used to make polycarbonate plastic, expoxy resins and other products.  Polycarbonates are used in reusable food and drink containers.  What alarmed everyone is that the same chemical is used in baby bottles and toddler's cups.  This chemical can mimic the hormone action of estrogen and it can disrupt brain development among other health risks.

As early as 2008, the six baby companies that have agreed to stop using BPA in baby bottles sold in the U.S. are

• Gerber
• Avent America, Inc
• Evenflo Co.
• Disney First Years
• Dr. Brown
• Playtex Products, Inc.

Aside from the six, The BornFree company has been selling BPA-free baby bottles for years.  I have also found a list of BPA Free Bottle Products/Sippy Cups/Water Bottles/Food Storage and Breast Pumps here.

There were several studies made to prove/disprove the ill effects of BPA to the human body.  Some say that we may be underestimating it and some say that as long as the product contains a minimal amount of BPA or if it is within the European Standard, then we can say it's safe.

I say as parents, we keep ourselves informed.  We make decisions based off the information we gather.  Then, we ask ourselves.  Given that the scientific community is divided, do we even want to take the risk in exposing our babies/kids to these chemicals?  I don't.  And yes, I am one of those moms who ask "Is it BPA free?"

How to avoid BPA?

  • Buy baby bottles made of glass.  The only problem I see here is that, if the bottle falls or is thrown (by your toddler), it will break and might injure your baby.
  • Don't buy hard plastic baby bottles that are marked with recycle codes "PC" or "7".  This is usually seen at the bottom of the sippy cup or bottle.
  • Buy baby products from companies who are BPA free.
  • Breastfeed.  It's the safest! 


Picture by: