Saturday, 27 February 2010

My Artscow projects

I already received my Artscow projects and I was happy with them. I was an Artscow fan since last year. I used their products for my Christmas and Valentine gifts and the recipients were very happy to see their precious photos too. What's more important than getting these quality items in real, real bargain and they have great promos you can't resist. Would you believe that the items in the picture - the mousepad, the camera case and the keychain watch are all free? Well, for the mousepad, I think I paid $1.99 only for the shipping. What a way to showcase your loved ones in these value-for-money photo thingies! :)

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

African Heritage Performance

My son Miggy had a part in the African Heritage Performance which we watched at the Grenoble school gym this evening. I was not aware of this until I received the invitation yesterday. On our way home, I asked Miggy what's in store for us:

Miggy: Some will dance, some will sing, some will do drums...
Irmee: So what's your part in the performance?
Miggy: Our class will go back in time, we will ride the Magic School Bus.
Irmee: So that's it? You're going to ride a bus lang?
Miggy: (smiling) You'll see...
Irmee: (sighs and can't hide her excitement)

We left for school at around 5:45pm and Lito met us on the way. He and Miggy had to run because we're running late. Curtain time is 5:55pm and we're still at the apartment. The Gym was almost full when we arrived and Lito got a seat for us at the back. We got excited when Miggy and his classmates came into the stage. Our camera's battery had only 1 bar and good thing, Miggy's performance is at the middle, we were able to charge it during the first performance. Kyle was shouting Kuya, kuya, when he saw his brother in front (idol talaga!)

Their class' presentation is about the significant people from the African race. From Luther King, Mendela, Owens to Ali, Jordan, Jackson and many others who have made names in history. Miggy had a short dialogue where he hold the microphone and said: "I know his name Herb Carnegie. Can we go visit him Friz?" (telling the teacher to go to the time of Carnegie). Knowing that my child is very shy and seeing him do that, I feel proud and was speechless, hehehe. Good Job Miggy! We had a nice chat with one of his teachers after the performance congratulating him too. After that, we headed to McDonald's for a French Fries and Strawberry Sundae treat. (True, even if there's snow outside and it's freezing, they can still eat a cold treat).

Here's the video, Lito was not able to take pictures because there's only 1 bar in the battery life of the camera.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Winter Blues

I think I'm experiencing the real taste of winter. In the past months, there was snow drought and I guess they all want to come out today from where they were hiding for sometime now. The snow started to fall at lunchtime and until now, it hasn't stopped. On the way to school to fetch my son, the snow is wet, it's like rain and snow falling from the sky. I wished I brought my umbrella but I guess it will only be me doing that. Most of the Canadians do not use umbrella even if it is raining. I was wearing a hat to cover my ears and prevent the snow from falling into my eyes. On our way home, the snow falls heavily. What I walked on a few minutes ago is now covered with snow. The size of snow flakes are getting bigger, no longer dandruff-like flurries but as big as dimes. My hat is not enough to cover my face, the snow flakes hits me and it feels like I'm being cauterized. I wished I really brought my umbrella. I remember that raindrops fall in one direction, downward but snow fall in every direction - downward, upward, diagonal, in front and at the sides. The kids are enjoying it and sticks out their tongue but for me, I wanted to run and stay indoors. I'm not sure but I guess I experienced my first snow storm that up to this moment it hasn't stop. We hope to make our Snowman soon. Hahaha!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Valentines, CNY and Family Day celebrations

We had a blast last weekend. We celebrated our 12th Civil Wedding Anniversary here at home on Valentine's day before going to Joy's and Ador's place in Ajax, Ontario for a family weekend stay. We are thankful for the long weekend, a time to relax, unwind and reminisce the good times. When we were a Joy's place, the kids enjoyed playing with Jaymee while the adults talked about high school days, friends and family. I also got the chance to watch Filipino movies which Joy has a collection of. IN MY LIFE starring Vilma Santos, John Lloyd Cruz and Luis Manzano was very entertaining and also touching, well pinoy movies are always like that, smorgasborg LOL. Another one, the first movie of Angel Locsin under Star Cinema - DOWN UNDER with Piolo Pascual. I already saw this movie but it's still worth watching. We also enjoyed cheering for Canada team in the live telecast of the Winter Olympics, shouting and shrieking for Canada's first gold medal in the Men's Moguls game. It was fun watching the games which we are just starting to learn in their 40" flat TV, I just don't know if it's a Plasma, or LCD TV, which is cool. Most of all, we enjoyed the Filipino dishes that Joy and Ador prepared for us. Ador is a kapampangan that's why the food is so tasty. We had Pancit Palabok, Turon, Longganisa, Dilis etc..just thinking about it makes me drool again, hahaha. Joy also made Blueberry cheesecake which we had 2nd servings, my kids also loved it. I think I gained weight during our stay there, ang sarap kumain! Well, the 2-days, 1-night stay is not enough, I heard Jaymee asked "You're leaving soon?". I guess we need to do it again, if my friends Joy and Ador permit because we messed up their beautiful home. We hope to do this again soon, maybe on Spring Break, hahaha.
Irmee and Joy >>High School Buddies - BFF

Our Kids, Miggy, Kyle and Jaymee

wishing for a baby like this

Until spring break, bye time here

Friday, 12 February 2010

Winter sports and the Olympics

As I was watching the opening rites of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics where an Alpine Skier came from a mountaintop down to the venue, it makes me wonder how these athletes train and excel in their chosen sports on a cold weather. I'm amazed when the commentator mentioned the sports called luge, skeleton, bobsled, alpine skiing, snowboard and many other unfamiliar games. I only know hockey and figure skating. During the parade, I also noticed that the athletes of the winter olympics are mostly caucasians (all white and blondes, looking like Barbies and Kens). I've seen non-caucasians, notable are those from India, whose uniforms were lost and the community of India in Vancouver contributed to come up with better jerseys; from Jamaica, only 1 athlete, (I remember the movie Cool Runnings where a group of Jamaicans joined the bobsled games) and from Nepal, only 1 athlete - Sherpa, the man who guided the First Filipino in reaching the top of Mt. Everest. There was standing ovation when the delegation from Georgia arrived. One of their teammates died a few hours before the opening ceremonies, a 21-yr-old luger had a tragic accident while practicing in the tracks and this is his first winter olympics.

I particularly liked the number from the natives wearing their colorful costumes and of course the lightshow. I was touched (or maybe felt being patriotic) while the crowd sang O, Canada and I'm wondering if any of my sons would be joining this parade 15-20 yrs from now. I was thinking if I could request the song "Lupang Hinirang" when one of them receives a medal, hehehe (wishful thinking). I hope that with the Ice Skating rinks prominent in SM Malls, Philippines will have a representative in the future winter olympics maybe in Figure Skating or Hockey, why not?

Bread Pudding ala Leche Flan

My mom always makes this when we were younger, sometimes she also makes Squash Leche Flan and the real Leche Flan, only she uses a steamer. But since we have free electricity here, included in our monthly rent, why not maximize the oven. Here's the outcome of what I baked in the wee hours of the morning for my son Miggy's baon the next day. This is also what I'm going to bring to Joy's when we have our get-together on Valentine/CNY/Family Day long weekend:

Bread Pudding

4 cups bread, cut into small cubes
4 cups evaporated milk
1/3 cup sugar for caramelization (for the baking pan)
1-1/3 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten with a fork (at room temperature)
2-1/2 tbsps. margarine, melted
1/4 tsp. vanilla (or more)
raisins or chopped candied fruit or some nuts

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
1. Soak the bread cubes in the milk mixture for at least one hour.
2. Caramelize the 1/3 cup sugar in 3/4 cup water. Boil for at least 10 minutes to get the right consistency, then pour into your pan.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the soaked bread mixture: sugar, eggs, melted margarine, vanilla, and raisins.
4. Pour the mixture into the “caramelized” pan.
5. Put the pan with the mixture in a baine marie in a pan of water.
6. Steam in a pre-heated over for an hour or until the toothpick test says it’s done.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

My favorite Beef Salpicao

I remember my favorite in Appenzeller - my former employer's favorite venue for meetings and celebrations which is Beef Salpicao. This dish is so easy to do, I was able to whip it in less than 15 minutes. Now Lito has a new favorite, here's the recipe:


250 grams beef tenderloin (cut into chunk cubes)
2 tablespoons garlic (minced)
Pinch of salt & pepper
Pinch of paprika
6 tablespoons Lee & Perins worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil

In a bowl marinate beef in salt & pepper, garlic, paprika and olive oil for a few minutes.
In a saute pan, heat oil in very high heat.
Put in beef and all marinade ingredients and toss very swiftly keeping the heat very high.
Add in the worcestershire sauce and soy sauce while tossing.
Finish with butter.
Serve with garlic rice.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Inspiration and Motivation

People come and go in our lives but some of them leave something with us that stay in our hearts and minds. I have met people whose words are like John Maxwell's, giving me inspiration, motivation and wisdom in all aspects of life. Today, I met another man of that stature. He is a big name (and also worth millions too) in Canada but we are privileged to have him as our guest in our little home. I have learned many things from the 2 hour chat and his road to success is remarkable. His principles in raising a child and giving the best education; how to mold them to become leaders, and giving back to the Church and his fellowmen; and his passion about work - they are all inspiring. I remember him saying "Winners never quit and quitters never win" which reminded me, I have believed the same, only not in that same intense motivation. It's like a domino, the air of confidence and passion from that man has a great impact to both Lito and I, we hope it continues to inspire and motivate us and we do the same to others.

Teaching kids and Elmo

I have learned to enjoy being with kids, not only with mine but also with the Sunday School class. Today, the lesson is about the God's creation Day 6 and 7. It is very difficult to get the attention of these kids whose ages range from 2 1/2 to 5 so the teacher should be creative enough to get their faces glued to her. I have tried the following: Puppets, Mime (they guess the words I'm acting) and copying others voices. I asked the kids who do they like to hear to read God's word today? When I heard "Elmo" I immediately got the script and told the kids that Elmo will read Genesis and God's creation. It was successful on the first few lines but since I read since Day 1 until Day 7, my voice faltered. One kid interrupted me and said "Tita, wait, You don't sound like Elmo anymore." So I asked her, "So who do I sound like?", and she replied "You sound like someone who wants to pee and can't get through a washroom", the other kids started to laugh. It was so fun seeing their innocent faces, I joined them in laughter and finished the verses in my normal voice later. Ahh, these kids, I'll cherish this one.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Tilapia and Fried Chicken Recipes

I'm so glad Lito was able to buy Tilapia and I baked it this week. My sons who are all carnivorous liked this fish dish. I'm surprised because Miggy requested that he will bring the left-overs as his lunch the next day. Here's the recipe I got from

Baked Tilapia

you will need:

Tilapia or Pla-pla
Fresh Cilantro
1 tbsp. calamansi or lemon juice
salt and pepper

For the sauce:
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 pc. green finger pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup light soy sauce (I used Lee Kum Yee)
1 tsp. sugar

Here's the procedure:
1. Rub the fish with salt and pepper
2. Fill the tummy with Cilantro leaves or just insert it in the aluminum foil
3. Place the fish in an aluminum foil.
4. Pour the lemon juice all over the fish. Then seal.
5. Baked for 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the fish.

For the sauce:
1. Cook the minced garlic and sliced pepper in little oil for 30 seconds.
2. Dissolve the sugar in Soy sauce and add.
3. Simmer for a few minutes then pour in the baked fish while hot.

Fried Chicken


1/2 cup Mayonniase
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper

Here's how:

1. Mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Salt and Pepper then set aside.
2. Put Mayonnaise and chicken in a resealable plastic bag and coat.
3. Press the coated chicken into the mixture you prepared.
4. Deep fry in 8 minutes.

Try it, it taste good. I was not able to take pictures because it only took minutes and they were all gone.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Winter Returns

We have experienced the unusual on our first winter. It's the first time in many years that there was no snow in November here in Toronto. December started off with relatively mild temperatures. Then, after the first snowstorm in December 9, temperatures dropped significantly. The Ontario Weather Review reported less snowfall than normal. Temperatures in many areas crept above the freezing mark and turned the precipitation into rain. Snowfall readings in Toronto area is only 7.2 cm last December compared to the normal 32.2 cm, the difference of -25.0 is notable. Climate change is evident. I heard on the news this morning that the organizers of the 2010 Winter Olympics is getting snow someplace else because it is not snowing yet in Vancouver where the games are going to be held. It is ironic when there is no snow for the bobsled, skiing and other games. My son Achilles asked me how can he play hockey when there is no snow. I just came outside and the snow starts to fall again. I remember walking only three to five times on snow and the snow on the balcony is not enough even for the head of a snowman. As I am writing this, its pouring and snowing and I guess the winter returned and BRRR moments are here again.

Time for the kids to make the snowman and snow angel again.